Spending time in nature can elicit a variety of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity. Studies show that individuals who spend more time in nature tend to have lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. In specific, individuals who spend a minimum of two hours a week in green spaces are more likely to report a greater sense of well-being than those who don’t. Restorative properties such as increasing energy, improvement in vitality, and increased focus have also been found as positive effects to spending frequent and consistent time outdoors. Exposure to nature can also affect physical aspects of oneself, as it’s known to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and stress hormones. Discover more about the nature & well-being tie below.
Dimensions of Wellness:
Spending more time in nature can positively impact well-being dimensions of:
You may be thinking to yourself… I don’t have time to hike on a trail every day, I have responsibilities I need to take care of. Getting outside doesn’t have to involve a lot of work- there are a variety of ways to start spending more quality time in nature. “The big challenge is very often not a lack of time or opportunities, it’s the quality of attention and awareness you bring to the moment”. Absorbing aspects of nature doesn’t have to be so cookie cutter and it doesn’t have to involve large quantities; the focus should be more on the quality of time spent in nature. Incorporating nature into your lifestyle can look as easy as opening your blinds as the sun rises in the morning and letting the sun shine on your face for a minute or two, opening the windows in your home to let fresh air flow in, or walking outside for 5-minutes to the grab your mail.
Other Lifestyle Changes:
- Take a walk in the woods vs. around your neighbourhood (e.g., forest bathing)
- Workout outdoors vs. indoors
- Eating meals or having drinks with your friends and family outdoors
- Reading and relaxing outside in your backyard at the end of the day
If you’re ever feeling stuck or find it hard to focus on a school or work assignment, try going outside without any technological devices and going for a walk, paying attention to your senses and the environment around you to maximize benefits.
Go Back to The Basics
When life gets overwhelming, go back to the basics! Ask yourself…
- Food: Am I fueling my body with nutritious food for at least 3 meals a day?
- Water: Am I drinking 8 glasses of water a day?
- Sleep: Am I getting 6-8 hours of restful sleep a night?
- Exercise: Have I moved my body today? Have I absorbed any sunlight?
- Nature: Have I connected with nature this week?
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