With the urbanization and the fast-paced lifestyles that we live today, we often forget to spend time in nature, as we are too busy spending it indoors. Here are 5 benefits of spending time in nature.
Nature for me has always been a place to relax in, a place to forget about the stress and worries of life, and a source of fascination. I love nature. That may sound corny to some of you, but honestly, nature is unconditionally beautiful; it is God’s gift to us on earth. As John Muir, an American environmentalist once said “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
As a child, our family outings would often consist of camping in the desert, or swimming and fishing in the sea. We were taught to enjoy nature and the outdoors, and to be careful not to litter or harm the natural environment. At our grandparent’s house, we established a tradition of spending the late afternoon in the garden. My grandmother would often complain if we didn’t; it would feel like there is something wrong or missing if we didn’t get our daily dose of nature.
I would like to encourage you to spend more time in nature; it could be for a few minutes or longer depending on your schedule; just find the time for it. These days, we are so engrossed in our lives, whether it’s in our studies or work, or with other responsibilities, that we often forget to stop and catch our breath. It has become all about working harder, being more efficient, and competing to be better. Therefore, I think nature is perfect for reminding us that life is continuous, and that it would not hurt to take a short break along the way.
Here are 5 benefits of spending time in nature:
- It’s good for your physical health. According to an article published by the University of Minnesota, being exposed to nature reduces your blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate, and stress hormones. Being exposed to nature could be by physically going out into the natural environment, or by bringing nature into the indoor environment through having houseplants.
- It’s also good for your mental health. Spending too much time indoors has become normal these days, but it often leads to stress and mental fatigue, which can be greatly improved by being exposed to nature. According to a study done by Pearson and Craig (2014), they found that there is a correlation between the exposure to nature and both short-term and long-term mental health benefits. There is something about being in nature that makes all your worries and stress seem insignificant, even if momentarily.
- It improves your focus and sharpens your mind. As a university student, I always like to take a walk or sit outdoors while on campus. It gives me a break from studying and helps me get more focused. Research done by Dr. Nancy Wells, an environmental psychologist at Cornell University suggests that when in nature, the human mind can rest because it does not need to block any noise or distractions. In turn, this improves focus and refreshes the mind.
- It can be an amazing creativity and energy booster because it allows you to get out of your “box” (being indoors). This makes you focus on the environment around you and look at things from a different perspective. The sights, the noises, and smells that you encounter stimulate your senses, which changes your mood.
- It gives you a chance to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with yourself and with the real world beyond screens and the Internet. We spend too many hours connected to the cyber world that we have come to forget what it’s like to live without it.
So why not try and spend time in nature?
Mariam Khalifa (@thesleepwriter)
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