It’s fair to say we’ve all been cooped up indoors a lot more this past year and definitely have less in our calendars. Perhaps it’s for this reason that more and more of us are choosing to spend our free time outdoors around nature 🍃 Let's be honest, there’s not much else to do to pass the time at the minute than go for a weekend walk anyway, right? 🌳
But what kind of benefit does being around nature bring to our health and wellbeing? Turns out, a lot 😄 Well just incase you can’t see the wood for the trees 🌲 (sorry), we thought we’d outline just 3 of the reasons why getting outdoors is a good idea and why some scientists think we as humans are instinctively drawn to nature.
Nature reduces stress & anxiety levels
Studies have shown, that spending time surrounded by nature lowers our cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress response), which can lead to lowered heart rate and blood pressure. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system (the one associated with the rest and digest response), activating the part of our brain that makes us feel calm and relaxed.
Nature is a natural anti-depressant
While spending too much time infront of a screen indoors has been linked to depression, spending time around nature has been proven to boost our mood and fight depression!
Infact, there is even a species of bacteria found in soil which has anti-depressant effects when they come into contact with our skin. The bacteria does this by stimulating the brain to produce more serotonin (a hormone that stabilises our mood and makes us to feel happy). So next time you’re out and about on a muddy walk, embrace the dirt, it’s making you happier!
Nature helps us heal quicker
Not only can being around nature help us recover from mental illnesses quicker, but it can also help us to recover from physical illnesses too! It’s proven that spending time in green spaces reduces inflammation in our bodies which helps protect us against things such as cancer and auto-immune diseases.
Amazingly, studies have even found that simply having views of trees from hospital windows can boost a patient’s recovery time! Yep, just one of the reasons why trees are pretty great 🌳💚
This is Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore. They've integrated nature into their hospital in recognition of the benefits the natural world can have on healing and recovery. Anyone from the community can visit the hospital to escape the city’s urban landscape for a little while.
But are we getting out and about in nature enough?
Unfortunately not 👎 Despite all the amazing benefits, it’s thought we only spend 1-5% of our time outdoors, which is pretty sad 😥
We hope after reading this you’ll make an extra effort to get out there and enjoy your local green spaces and help to protect them for future generations to benefit from.
But don’t worry if you wouldn’t consider yourself to be an “outdoorsy” person, you don’t have to go on a huge hike to reap the rewards of nature! Just a quick walk in your local park or choosing the scenic route for your commute can have therapeutic benefits.
And best of all, spending time in nature is free! So you can become a happier, healthier person without spending a penny. Great news if you’re thrifty.
If you’re looking for some new sustainable gear for your next nature walk, tap here to shop our best pieces to get outdoors in.
Deliciously Ella Podcast- S.5 Ep.2 “Eco-Anxiety and The Healing Power of Nature”