Humans are drawn to nature.
And for good reason – it has the power to heal our mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s a backyard garden or a remote National Park – our love for nature is ingrained in our evolution. We’re part of nature, not separate from it. So it’s no surprise that when we escape from our screens and four walls, we feel as if we’re returning home.
There are ample benefits of spending time in nature. It can soothe our mind, lower our stress levels and boost our mood. A study of over 19,000 people found that spending as little as 120 minutes a week in nature led to a boost in overall health and well being.
What’s more, nature brings our senses to life and allows us to be present in our surroundings. And when we head outside with family and friends, it can strengthen our relationships and connection. It also encourages us to get active… Have you ever felt that overwhelming urge to move your body when you’re outside?
But being in nature doesn’t just improve our mental and emotional wellbeing. It contributes to physical wellbeing by lowering blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels and muscular tension. It can also boost our immunity and aid our recovery. In fact, there is remarkable evidence that “healing gardens” in hospitals promote a stronger sense of wellbeing amongst patients.
So yes, science is verifying what we’ve long believed to be true: Nature is a form of medicine. So here are some tips for you to reap the benefits of being in nature (no matter how busy you are).
Gym’s, treadmills and indoor classes are fantastic for your fitness. But try swapping these out for some outdoor exercise from time to time. Go for a walk along the beach, run at the park or hike along a nearby trail.
There’s something so therapeutic about getting your hands dirty in the garden. And the best part? You don’t need a lot of space to start a veggie patch. Even if you live in an apartment - pop some planter boxes with herbs on the balcony or windowsill. Plus, it’s super rewarding when you get to taste your homegrown food!
If you work on a laptop or device, try taking it outside. It’s best to find a nice shady spot, away from direct sunlight. If this isn’t an option for you, why not take your lunch break outside? Make a habit of stepping outdoors to take a power walk or lay down at the park.
There’s a reason why walking outside in bare feet feels so good: We’re hardwired to be that way. By having direct contact with the earth, we can experience stress relief, enhanced immune function and a greater sense of wellbeing. Go on, take your shoes off. We know you want to.
If finding time to get outside is a struggle for you – then bring nature inside. Indoor plants can fill your space with peace and tranquility, as well as purify your air.
Isn’t it incredible what nature does to our mind, body and spirit? So remember to take the time to stop and smell the roses, feel the earth beneath your feet and elevate the everyday.