There are few things I enjoy more than spending time in nature when the weather is beautiful. Whether it’s taking in the beauty of the freshly planted flowers on my deck, walking amongst the trees early on a Sunday morning at Grant Park, or (when I’m lucky) chilling on the beach in one of my parents’ home countries (Jamaica and Bermuda), I truly relish time that I can spend in the great outdoors.
In this article, I share some of the research that highlights why so many people I know also feel rejuvenated and refreshed after spending some time in nature.
Novelist Jane Austen said, “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” And who could argue with her? I know I can’t. Appreciating the magnificence of trees, inhaling salty ocean air, or marveling at the sumptuous colors of a field of flowers always fills me with a sense of wonder and renews my spirit.
There’s good reason so many artists and poets have found inspiration in the beauty of creation. Research has shown that spending time in nature can benefit you both mentally and physically, in a variety of surprising ways.
If you feel like taking a walk outside in the middle of the day is necessary for your well-being, you’re probably right. Read on for eight compelling reasons to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors!
1. Spending time in nature increases your sense of vitality.
A series of studies examined the effects of nature on participants’ self-reported levels of vitality. The results showed that spending time in nature (and even looking at pictures of it or visualizing nature scenes) increased participants’ energy. It’s no surprise: when you’re outside, you awaken your senses. Surrounded by the colors, smells and sounds of all the living beings in nature, you literally feel life all around you. And as a result, you feel more alive.
2. Exposure to nature makes you more resilient to stress.
In one study, participants were shown a traumatic video (of workplace accidents, in case you’re curious) followed by a video that showed either outdoor scenes of nature or urban environments. Researchers found that the individuals who viewed the nature scenes showed faster physical recovery from the effects of stress than the subjects who viewed urban scenes. Going outdoors may just be the most natural remedy there is for all different kinds of healing.
Click here to learn 6 more reasons!
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