Spending Time in Nature Will Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative
NESTLED IN NATURE WITH NO DISTRACTIONS
We spend too much time indoors and online. But more and more studies suggest that nature can help our brains and bodies to stay healthy. Many like to hike or walk into the mountains, the just love it. Now scientists are beginning to find evidence that being in nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behavior, helping us to reduce anxiety, brooding, and stress, and increase our attention capacity, creativity, and our ability to connect with other people. Science is seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.
1. Being in nature decreases stress
It’s clear that walking or hiking—and any physical activity— reduces stress and anxiety. But, there’s something about being in nature that may augment those impacts.
Results of several studies show that those who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress), and reported better moods and less anxiety, than those who walked in urban settings. The researchers concluded that there’s something about being in nature that had a beneficial effect on stress reduction, above and beyond what exercise alone might have produced. The reasons for this effect are unclear; but scientists believe that we evolved to be more relaxed in natural spaces.