Need a quick way to boost your mood and recharge your focus? Go outside! There are growing studies showing that nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being. Here are just a few benefits:
Living in urban areas can be stressful with the constant noise and on-the-go lifestyle. Spending time in nature has been linked to improved attention spans, boosts in serotonin (the feel good hormone) and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love (whereas urban environments do the same for fear and anxiety).
In one study, researchers found that subjects that were in a forest for a few days had a decrease in heart rate and cortisol levels when compared to those in the city. Even among those in the office, a view of nature out a window was associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction. Spending time in nature or exercising in nature significantly reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves mood.
A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that a small group of subjects who strolled through nature for just an hour and a half reported a reduction in negative thoughts. That finding adds to a growing body of research showing that nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being. Other studies have shown that reconnecting with green helps decrease depression, improve energy, and boost overall well-being and mental health. American author Richard Louv says in his book The Nature Principle, people living in high-tech societies often suffer from what he calls "nature deficit disorder."
Increased Ability to Focus
Spending time in nature helps you focus and prioritize. Our lives are busier than ever with jobs, school, and family life. Trying to multi task in all areas of our lives for long periods of time can mentally drain us, a phenomenon called Directed Attention Fatigue. Spending time in nature, being with plants, water, birds and other aspects of nature gives our brain a break, allowing us to focus better and renew our ability to be more aware and conscious.
All in all, being in nature and giving your body and a brain to relax and reboot will do wonders for every aspect of you life. When you are have a better sense of connection with yourself, a rested mind, and body full of vitality, you perform better in every aspect of your life.
If you feel like you need a complete reboot, dedicate a weekend outdoors by signing up for activity-packed getaways and retreats. (yoga retreats, health & fitness retreats, etc) You can find them everywhere, (including ones available on our website!) Take an active stance for our mental health and engage in some rejuvenating fun that you deserve.
Written By: Jalpa Dhaduk
Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach
After working as an Occupational Therapist for 6 years, Jalpa realized she wanted to focus more preventative care and serve by guiding others to prevent chronic illnesses via food and lifestyle modification. She went back to school to train in holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and founded Nourishbyjd. Now, she combines her knowledge of science and western medicine with nutrition to coach clients to discover healthier versions of their favorite foods, while guiding them through self discovery and behavior modification for long lasting, healthy habits; leading them to happy and fulfilled lives.