5 Amazing Benefits Of Being Surrounded By Nature

Studies and research over the last century on human-nature relationships show that spending time in nature can benefit a person’s physical health, mental health, and even social health. In addition to the personal benefit of the human-nature relationship, humans may foster greater care for environmental initiatives that seek to protect natural places and resources to preserve them for future use.

Reduces Stress

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.

Research even suggests outdoor play in natural environments is extremely beneficial for children as it helps to develop capacity for ‘creativity, symbolic play, problem solving, and intellectual development’. Outdoor play allows children to develop a greater understanding of the natural environment too as they ‘show a growing concern and appreciation for natural environments, explore relationships between living and non-living things, observe, notice, and respond to changes in the environment, [and] develop an awareness of the impact of human activity on environment and the interdependence of living things’. I find the same effects happen to me as an adult too.

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. 

Spending time in nature can benefit spirituality and wellbeing. The often reported feelings of restoration, healing, and spirituality from those that have experienced nature may help people to embrace the journey of self-discovery and help to create a feeling of connectedness, shared purpose, rhythm, and balance.


Len Parent

“The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.” —Alicia Keys

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