Benefits of Nature on Our Lives
Nature is essential to our daily lives. It provides food on our table, clothes we wear, foundation for medicines and mental health benefits.
Research reveals that our environment can increase or reduce our stress levels, which in turn impacts our bodies health. What you are hearing, seeing and experiencing around you is impacting your mood, nervous system, endocrine system and immune system.
When you experience the stress of an unpleasant environment it can cause you to be anxious, sad or helpless, which is turn can elevate your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. In addition, this stress can contribute to suppressing your immune system.
A pleasing environment reverses this negative impact on your body and mental status.
Nature Helps Maintain Good Health
Venturing out into nature or even just viewing nature scenes can help reduce fear, anger and stress and thereby increase pleasant feelings. Research done in offices, schools and hopitals has shown that just a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on one’s stress and anxiety.
Nature Soothes and Helps Heal
Nature has been shown to help us cope with pain. When out in nature we find ourselves absorbed by the scenes of nature and distracted from out pain and discomfort, be that physical or mental.
In one study 95% of the people interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside. They reported they changed from depressed, stressed and anxious to more calm and balanced. Other studies by Ulrich, Kim, and Cervinka show that time in nature or viewing scenes of nature are associated with a positive mood and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness and vitality.
Time spent in nature gives us a break from our overactive minds, thereby refreshing us for our other daily tasks.
Nature and Children
With regards to children, Andrea Taylor’s research on children with ADHD shows that time spent in nature increases their attention span later.
Today, children have a lack of time spent in the natural world. Most of their time is spent in front of the TV or computer screen. Unsurprisingly, this environment has been associated with depression in our children.
Nature and Poverty
Another study at the University of Illinois suggests that residents in Chicago public housing communities who had trees and green space around their building reported knowing more people, having stronger feelings of unity with neighbors, being more concerned with helping and supporting each other, and having stronger feelings of belonging than tenants in husing without trees. In addition to this greater sense of community, they had a reduced risk of street crime, lower levels of violence and aggression between domestic partners, and a better capacity to cope with life’s demands, especially the stresses of living in poverty.
So, experience nature whenever you can, even if it is just enjoying an image of nature while relaxing and drinking your morning coffee. Also, consider hanging paintings of nature scenes in your home, at your office or even in your children’s classrooms.