Do you find yourself glued to your phone and laptop screen for hours on end? Do you find it hard to unplug? It’s time to give yourself a break, go on a digital detox, and step outside to reap the benefits of being in nature.
Forest bathing is a popular term, derived from a Japanese concept, that you might be familiar with. It means being in nature and taking in the surroundings through our senses. The feeling of absolute calm that washes over you when you are in nature isn’t just a feeling. It has been proven in reducing stress, bringing clarity, and rejuvenating the mind and body. It also has replenishing effects for those struggling with depression.
As the saying goes, nature is the best healer. Here’s why:
Nature and Stress Relief
Nature is relaxing and if you’re looking for an answer to how to immediately reduce stress and anxiety, this is it. According to research, being in nature and performing tasks such as gardening or watering the plants reduces stress better than other activities such as watching television or using your phone. Nature and stress relief go hand in hand, which is why people who are stressed out are often advised to ‘take a walk’. It lowers the stress hormone cortisol and enhances the mood significantly!
Nature Helps the Body Function Better
Getting a dose of vitamin D by being in nature helps the body function more efficiently. While kids today are sent out to play as a punishment for being in front of the screen too much and office workers head out to take a smoke or grab a coffee, going out in nature helps the body function better. This is due to vitamin D that also assists the absorption of calcium that in return improves dental and bone health. Like nature and stress relief go together, Vitamin D benefits the body by elevating the mood, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It also relaxes the body and reboots it to function at an optimal.
Nature Normalizes the Sleep Cycle
The benefits of being in nature include the normalizing of your sleep schedule as well. As recommended by doctors, natural light helps in having a refreshing effect on the mind and body by regulating melatonin production. Melatonin is primarily responsible for keeping the body’s internal clock in check and helps you fall asleep. The pineal gland is the melatonin-producing part of the body that is affected by light. It is activated as soon as the day ends and darkness sets in. Being in nature helps in promoting a good night’s sleep and leads to a refreshed, rejuvenated you!
Nature and Breathing
Benefits of being in nature extend over to your breathing as well. How you breathe and where you breathe have a major impact on the stress hormones. It has been found that breathing techniques tend to bust stress and energize the body. While rapid breathing engages the body’s sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the fight or flight mode, slow, and deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a sense of calm. By being in nature and taking a few seconds out to smell the flowers, you can put your stress on hold and chill out in the great outdoors.
Nature Boosts Serotonin Levels
The benefits of being in nature do not only come from the fresh air but also the ground. It has been found that a harmless bacteria present in the soil acts as a natural antidepressant that works by speeding up the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is responsible for the brain’s cognitive function and enhancing mood. So, what are you waiting for? Pull up your socks and get set to kiss your worries goodbye.
Being in nature is relaxing. The benefits of being in nature cannot be overlooked. If you find yourself low on energy, stressed-out, or unable to concentrate on basic tasks, head out in nature and engage your senses to promote a feeling of calm. Gaze at the sky, listen to the birds chirping, the waves splashing, breathe in the fresh air, and feel the sand on your feet. If you must, schedule time to go outdoors and don’t forget to leave your screens back home.
Don’t forget to head over to our Wellness Blog to learn more about the secrets of a healthy, happy lifestyle.