Finding Peace in Nature
Finding peace in nature isn’t simply an idea that sounds appealing. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that spending time in green spaces improves your mental and physical health in multiple ways. What do you need to do to enjoy this benefit? It’s easy to find an option that suits your style.
The Benefits of Spending Time with Nature
As SelectHealth reports, many studies have found proof that spending time outdoors can offer benefits:
- Better memory. A nature walk is always pleasant. However, one study found that participants who took a walk in nature did 20 percent better on a memory test than peers who walked through an urban setting.
- Better concentration. Strolling in a green space provides a break that allows your mind to relax. When you return, you’re better able to focus.
- Less pain. In one study, patients post-spine surgery who were exposed to natural light reported less discomfort, took less pain medication, and seemed to heal faster.
- Less stress. Being in natural surroundings seems to reduce stress. Studies show that simply getting outdoors can reduce a person’s heart rate.
- Stronger immune system. Being in green spaces boosts the immune system, improving your ability to fight off infection. It often inspires physical activity as well, which is good for your well-being.
- Better mood. Several studies have linked fresh air, sunshine, and time spent in nature with better mood and improved mental health.
- Age gracefully. A study of seniors in their 70s found that individuals who spent at least some time outdoors every day were less likely to report common age-related complaints like achy joints and insomnia.
How to Find Peace in Nature
Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to find peace in nature. There’s no need to trek deep into the wilderness. Going outside to a green space and indulging your senses will do the trick. Here are some ideas:
- Take a walk in a local green space. Pay attention to the plants and animals that cross your path. Notice colors, textures, smells, and sounds.
- Bring a picnic to the park. Enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine while you eat your meal. Soak in the sensations of the world around you.
- Go barefoot in your backyard. Sit down on a bench in your backyard in a space where you know that there are no hazards. Remove your shoes and feel the grass between your toes. Think about the ground beneath your feet. How many other creatures have walked across this same ground?
- Sit beneath a tree. Find a bench beneath a large tree. Spend some time thinking about the textures and colors of the tree that you can see. Then, contemplate the things that you cannot see. Consider the way the roots go deep to hold the tree fast to the ground and harvest nutrients from the soil. Think about the work of the leaves as they change sunlight and carbon dioxide for energy, releasing oxygen and shade as byproducts.
- Put up a birdfeeder. Installing a birdfeeder will invite visitors to flock to your yard. You can keep a log or simply enjoy the show.
- Visit the water’s edge. The sight and sound of water as it moves against the shore can be both invigorating and soothing. Whether you find a place to sit and watch or choose to stroll along the shoreline, spending time near the water is a great way to unwind.
- Try gardening. When it comes to gardening, you can keep things simple with a few small pots on your windowsill or go big with massive plots that take over your yard. The choice is yours. What if you can’t or don’t want to deal with plants of your own? You can always visit a community garden, a gardening store, or a farm that offers pick-your-own fruit.
What will you do outside today?