The great outdoors is wonderful for our physical health and our mental well-being. Walks along a trail, a picnic in the park, or an entire camping experience outside – they all offer the same benefits. They help keep us calm, refresh our bodies and minds, and can aid in reconnecting us with nature in ways that cities and other urban areas don’t let us.
By reconnecting, we can help anchor ourselves. There are so many reasons you should spend more time outside, and thankfully, many great ways to do it.
1. Improve your short-term memory.
There are studies that have looked into how nature can improve memory. In this study, two groups of university students were tasked with a memory test. They are then taken on a walk outside — either through an arboretum, or a city street. Then they did another test when they returned. Those that walked around nature performed 20% better than those who walked through the city.
2. Being around nature is an excellent de-stressor.
One of the biggest and most notable benefits of being surrounded by nature is its ability to relax us. A lot of stress comes from stimulus and there are a lot of stimulants in cities, which can make it hard for the body to properly power down. Being amongst nature has been proven to markedly reduce levels of cortisol, the main stress hormone. The more remote you are, the more profound this effect. That being said, you can benefit in a city’s nature spots or your own garden.
3. Nature energizes you.
Those city stimulants are not just stressful, they are taxing to your energy levels as well. Researchers refer to this as “mental fatigue” and, guess what? Nature helps reset you. Going on trips to national parks and other areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) are a great way to do this. But again, you can enjoy similar effects right in your own garden, so long as you really invest in creating a natural oasis right outside your back door.
4. Natural sounds are soothers.
We are all familiar with how certain sounds are incredibly soothing. The sound of rain and the sound of waves are two of the most popular soundscapes that we artificially bring into our home. They can help us relax or even help us sleep. There is nothing quite like the real thing though. Once again, your garden is going to be the best place to enjoy this, but you will need to focus on the soundscape. The sound of water is one of the most popular and pleasing soundscapes, and it’s easy to include a pond or waterfall into your garden. Just remember to keep maintenance in mind when adding one. If you do not have the right fishpond filters, you could upset the balance of your own oasis and turn it into a hostile environment.
5. Improve your overall health.
There is evidence that spending more time amongst nature can help reduce inflammation, increase overall lifespan, and even reduce the risk of cancer. There are so many incredible health benefits, and you will enjoy them in the short term and long term. Build up your own garden space, go on more excursions to natural areas of beauty, and
reconnect with nature for a better, more fulfilling life.
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