Stressed out? Can’t focus? Then go out for a walk.
We are all stressed in one way or another…job, money, kids, relationships, overwhelmed….the list goes on. Why is it then, the moment we are out in nature, whether to go for a walk, a hike or to tend a garden all of that goes away??? Well there are strong research that confirms being out in nature increases mental health, psychological and spiritual wellness. Benefits include, a sense of coherence and belonging, stress reduction, improved self confidence and broader sense of community. To go more in detail:
1. Nature reduces stress
When we observe nature – even through a window – we sense the ever changing scenery and allows one to completely relax, taking in deeper breaths of all the oxygen surrounding. This calms the brain, letting more oxygen flow through and cultivate a positive attitude, renewed attention, mindfulness and sensory awareness.
2. Meaning and Purpose
Why do you think the Dali lama is always out in nature?? Because being in nature bestows a sense of connectedness, meaning and purpose. Everything in the life of nature has a system of its own – an chaotic order. It is a system that has existed successfully since the beginning of time, which provides a sense of structure, coherence, and reliability. Realizing that human beings are an essential component of this larger structure can supply a sense of purpose and belonging. This leads to a spirituality feeling, a feeling of being part of something larger.
3. Physical Activity and a heightened awareness
Whether you are hiking, running, walking or going for a stroll you are getting a form of exercise which opens up your feel good receptors known as endorphins. When you are hiking you are having to be aware of everything around you and mapping and tracking your course. And those who hike and climb mountains do so not just the thrill but also to see the world differently and be closer to nature. These activities reduces depression, reduces risk of diseases, and improves psychological well being.
When immersed in nature and all its goodness, you become aware of yourself, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude takes hold leaving you feel blessed and truly happy.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burrows