Our busy modern lives often prevent us from truly connecting with nature. Spending our lives commuting to work, sitting in front of desks, and constantly tuned into screens might be the new normal but it isn’t amazing for our health.
When was the last time you took a break to simply be around nature?
In case you need convincing, here are the ways in which nature can impact our well-being.
How Does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?
1. Reduces stress
Numerous studies have demonstrated that being around nature – or even just looking at pictures – can reduce the production of stress hormones. It’s believed this is because our brains are naturally programmed to find the outdoors interesting (to look for prey), so it allows us to switch off from our everyday stresses.
2. Improves learning
A 2017 study found that learning in an outdoor environment improved recall and levels of achievement. While this isn’t directly related to well-being in the same way as stress reduction, an improved sense of achievement definitely helps. So grab your book and get outdoors!
3. Reduces blood pressure
Well-being is about physical health as much as mental health. Luckily, being in nature can improve both. In a 2019 study of 20,000 participants, researchers found that 2 hours a week spent in green spaces drastically reduced blood pressure and heart rates. Being in nature can also reduce muscle tension, commonly associated with stress.
4. Lifts mood
Being in nature improves mental wellbeing in several ways. It can reduce feelings of isolation while also promoting feelings of calm. Considering a government survey reported that 6% of the UK’s population feel isolated all the time, this is a factor many of us should take advantage of.
5. Pretty much any nature works
If you live in an urban area, getting stuck into nature can seem challenging. Numerous studies have found that it pretty much doesn’t matter what the nature is or how we immerse ourselves in it, as it all works. Even pictures of trees and green spaces can help lift a person’s mood. So, if all you’ve got nearby is a city park, it’ll do the job!
6. It connects us with others
Humans are sociable creatures and, despite having more ways to connect than ever before, rates of self-perceived loneliness are increasing. Luckily, plenty of studies have shown that being in nature helps connect us with others, improving our wellbeing by extension.
One study even found that simply having outdoor public spaces near homes improved feelings of connection between strangers. If you’ve ever been out for a walk and everyone says hello, you now know why!
Getting Back to Nature
As you can see, there are plenty of answers to the question, how does nature impact our wellbeing. It improves our mental and physical health and also helps us reconnect with those around us.
So, take this as your motivation to spend time in nature. Even a walk in a local park will help. Consider putting a bit of nature in your cleaning routine, too, with hygëia.
Journol by Hygeia
Jessy Deans is a copywriter with a strong appetite for thought-provoking stories, travel and anything covered in white chocolate. With a background working in the fast-paced television industry, she has learnt the importance of self-care and downtime and believes there’s no such thing as too many candles. She is passionate and committed to her lifelong search for the perfect meal and subscribes to the doctrine that ‘if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else’ (Ru Paul).