“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in”. ~John Muir (1838–1914)
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." ~William Shakespeare
Mankind has always enjoyed the time spent enjoying nature. Our modern lives take us further and further away from the healing rays of the sun, the wind in our hair, and the green parks and forests to walk through.
You sit at your peril in front of computer screens in artificially climate controlled buildings under artificial lights when you do not give yourself time to be refreshed by nature. Get the kids away from their electronic games, computer screens, and TV screens and expose them to nature as well!
You will discover the peace and perspective that you can get from allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy being in nature.
What you may not know are all the other benefits that researchers are showing that time spent in nature can bring you.
You don’t have to trek into a forest on a major expedition to enjoy these benefits. It can simply be time spent immersing yourself in your garden, taking short moments sitting in your backyard or walking through your city park that restores your mental health. Unsurprisingly, depression has been linked to ‘nature deprivation’.
Just 10 minutes walking through city forest parks or even photographing nature has been shown to reduce stress, elevate mood, and aid the ability to concentrate and focus. The same study also showed a dramatic improvement in the ‘working memory’ of study participants.
Exposure to nature has even been shown to boost your immune system. It reduces your levels of stress hormones as so reduces your blood pressure and other related physical problems. Children with attention fatigue and ADHD have been shown to have a reduction in their symptoms by being given the gift of time out in nature.
The calming effect of trees and parks reduces the feelings of fear, anger and fatigue that so often occurs in dense urban settings. It actually helps improve the social cohesion of communities where people are more likely to want to help and support each other.
Give yourself the gift of time spent enjoying nature in all its variety. Don’t get so caught up in your city rush and urgency that you are unable to enjoy the many benefits of time out with nature. And don’t keep this to yourself, bring your friends and family with you!
Where do you go to enjoy the many benefits of nature? Your local park, the beach, an arboretum? Tell us in the comment box below.
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