Article Of The Month
Time in Nature is Good for the Soul
By Anna Syke, MA, LPC
With spring now here and the weather warming up, it is a great time to get out and enjoy time in nature. What many people don’t realize is that time in nature has many healing benefits for the mind and body. If you are feeling worn out, stressed or even depressed, consider making some time to go walk in a park, hike through a state forest, bike on rural trails or enjoy time on the water. All of these activities can do wonders for improving mental health.
Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, finds a series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Additionally, it can ease depression. According to a study from the University of Michigan, group nature walks are linked to enhanced mental health and positivity, as well as significantly lower levels of depression and feelings of stress.
Another benefit of time in nature is that it can help you regain focus. According to a study published in Psychological Science, interacting with nature gives your brain a break from everyday overstimulation, which can have a restorative effect on your attention levels.
Time in nature can boost your immunity. Researchers at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School found that women who spent six hours in the woods over the course of two days had an increase in virus- and tumor-fighting white blood cells, and the boost lasted at least seven days afterwards. Nature time also aids in healing. Research has shown that recovering in a room with a window looking out at trees helps individuals heal faster.
Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature also helps us feel more spiritually connected and in touch with our deeper selves. Individuals tend to feel a greater sense of peace and satisfaction in their life when they spend time in nature. In the great outdoors we are reminded how we are interconnected with nature and how much awe there is in the natural world around us.
If you haven’t been out in nature recently, make the time to get out and enjoy it. The sunshine and beauty will work wonders on your mood and overall health!
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