Stress reduction is one of the most well-known benefits of being in nature. Getting outdoors, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Consequently, it may also help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Even viewing nature out of a window is associated with lower stress and reduced mortality.
Relieves Depression and Anxiety
Simply sitting in a green space or listening to the sound of falling water helps people feel more alive, and for seniors who struggle with depression or feelings of hopelessness, this is an immeasurable gift. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors – especially when it’s combined with exercise.
You get to learn about science and nature
Spending more time in nature allows you to naturally learn more about it from a first-hand perspective. Hopefully, intrigued by what you see around you, you will be interested enough to find out what it is – from vegetation to animals. Again, this can tie in to mental health benefits as consistent learning grants you new confidence. Why not go for a walk and teach your partner, children, or friends what you have discovered? Did you know, for example, that sunflowers follow the movement of the sun east to west across the sky in a process known as heliotropism? Or that a group of foxes is called a skulk or leash? Seeing these plants and animals first-hand should inspire you to find out more about them.
Getting out and exploring our surroundings undoubtedly helps us to develop an appreciation of our environment and the world we live in. You don’t have to go far either – you may be surprised what you can even find in your back garden! Cities also have more to offer than meets the eye and can grant a chance to explore the outdoors in a different but equally meaningful way, particularly when it comes to learning about the history of an area and the impact humans have on shaping the environment around us.
Getting out in nature also offers the chance to explore new places you may not venture to otherwise. With a new love for hiking or climbing, you may choose to holiday in the Peak District or take a trip further north to Scotland. Nature is all around us and is begging to be explored. Visiting such places can also teach you how to make a difference to improve our environment – seeing plastic bags strewn everywhere will hopefully help you to remember your reusable carrier bag next time you visit the shops.
Encourages Physical Activity and Engagement
Accessibility to everyday green spaces encourages people to simply get out the door. This in turn motivates them to be active physically, spiritually, and socially, which can offset chronic illness, disability, and isolation. Spending time outdoors also fights boredom and raises self-esteem. Plus, being outside makes us feel more energetic and alive – a good enough reason to get out and get moving.
Increased sense of spirituality.