everJOURNEY
Ever Journey

Get Out in Nature

“The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” – Nancy Newhall

We all know that being in nature can increase your sense of calm, reduce your stress levels, improve your mood and boost your overall all wellness . It can also improve your memory, help you with decision making ; not to mention increase your dose of natural vitamins in your body.

The science behind the benefits of being outdoors in nature:

There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well­being,”- Lisa Nisbet, PhD, a psychologist at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who studies connectedness to nature.

“You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature.1

Increased mental wellbeing

Research into Ecotherapy2 (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown being outdoors , can help with mild to moderate depression. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature.

Research has shown that various types of nature experience are associated with mental health benefits3. Being outdoors is proven to reduce psychological stresses by being exposed to nature images and sounds4 .

Increased positive emotions, and better reflection & decision making

Interesting enough, images of nature can be just as beneficial as being outdoors. Research conducted by Frantzand colleagues5 compared outcomes of people who walked outside in either natural or urban settings , with those of people who watched videos of those settings. They found that any exposure to nature—in person or via video—led to improvements in attention, positive emotions and the ability to better reflect on a life problem. The effects were found to be much  stronger among those who actually spent time outsidethan those who were being showed the images and videos of such settings.

Closer to nature = increased Psychological well-being

Psychological well-being of a population has been associated, in part, with its closeness & proximity to green and blue spaces (i.e., aquatic and marine environments), and trees or private gardens in both urban6 and rural settings7

Another study conducted involving 20,000 people, led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who did not8.

Improved short term memory

In one study, University of Michigan students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups. One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other half took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time. The ones who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.9

Reduced stress in office workers :

In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. “Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy,” they concluded. 

Even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction among office workers.10

Increased dose Of Vitamins D.

Vitamin D is essential for a well-functioning body. It helps us absorb calcium, it prevents osteoporosis, and it reduces inflammation, among other things. Although vitamin D is present in some foods, like salmon and fortified milk, we get more than 90 percent of our vitamin D from casual exposure to sunlight.11

Cognitive benefits

Spending time in nature calm our busy brains. Both correlational and experimental research have shown that interacting with nature has cognitive benefits—a topic University of Chicago psychologist Marc Berman, PhD, and his student Kathryn Schertz explored in a 2019 review. They reported, for instance, that green spaces near schools promote cognitive development in children and green views near children’s homes promote self-control behaviours. Adults assigned to public housing units in neighbourhoods with more green space showed better attentional functioning than those assigned to units with less access to natural environments. Experiments have found that being exposed to natural environments improves working memory, cognitive flexibility and attentional control, while exposure to urban environments is linked to attention deficits12

Increased Focus

In one study, researchers worked to deplete participants’ ability to focus. Then some people took a walk in nature, others took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When everyone returned, the group that was out in nature scored the best on a proofreading task.13

With so much benefits – get outdoors today!

Remember that EverJOURNEY coaching is NLP based, we can guide you to include more positive and encouraging healthy habits for your personal and wellness goals.

Even as a high paced executive individual , find the balance and time to go outdoors to reflect on your complex problems, you will find the answers more easily when you are ‘away’ from it all!

References:

  1. Nurtured by nature- Psychological research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition By Kirsten Weir Date created: April 1, 2020 Link https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature
  2. Mind.ORG , Nature and mental health, Explains the mental health benefits of nature and gives tips and ideas to try. Also provides information on formal ecotherapy programmes, and where to find out more. Link: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/about-ecotherapy-programmes/
  3. M. P. White,  S. Pahl,  B. W. Wheeler,  M. H. Depledge,  L. E. Fleming Natural environments and subjective wellbeing: Different types of exposure are associated with different aspects of wellbeing. Health Place 45, 77-84 (2017)
  4. Advances In Sciences Mag Nature And Mental Health: An Ecosystem Service Perspective By Gregory N. Bratman, Christopher B. Anderson, Marc G. Berman, Bobby Cochran, Sjerp De Vries, Jon Flanders, Carl Folke, Howard Frumkin, James J. Gross, Terry Hartig, Peter H. Kahn, Jr., Ming Kuo, Joshua J. Lawler, Phillip S. Levin, Therese Lindahl, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Richard Mitchell, Zhiyun Ouyang, Jenny Roe, Lynn Scarlett, Jeffrey R. Smith, Matilda Van Den Bosch, Benedict W. Wheeler, Mathew P. White, Hua Zheng, Gretchen C. Daily Science Advances24 Jul 2019 : Eaax0903  Link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903#ref-29
  5. Mayer, F. & Frantz, Cynthia & Bruehlman-Senecal, Emma & Dolliver, Kyffin. (2009). Why Is Nature Beneficial?The Role of Connectedness to Nature. Environment and Behavior – ENVIRON BEHAV. 41. 607-643 Link: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0013916508319745 .
  6. P. Dadvand,  X. Bartoll,  X. Basagaña,  A. Dalmau Bueno,  D. Martinez,  A. Ambros, M. Cirach,  M. Triguero-Mas,  M. Gascon,  C. Borrell, M. J. Nieuwenhuijse , Green spaces and general health: Roles of mental health status, social support, and physical activity. Environ. Int. 91, 161–167 (2016).
  7. Alcock, M. P. White, R. Lovell, S. L. Higgins, N. J. Osborne, K. Husk, B. W. Wheeler, What accounts for ‘England’s green and pleasant land’? A panel data analysis of mental health and land cover types in rural England. Landsc. Urban Plan. 142, 38–46 (2015).
  8. White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J. et al. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Sci Rep 9, 7730 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3 Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3
  9. The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature, Marc G. Berman, John Jonides, Stephen Kaplan. Link:  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x?inline-read-more=_
  10. The influence of forest view through a window on job satisfaction and job stress https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02827580701262733#.U0VZHOZdXz0?inline-read-more
  11. Mental Floss , 11 Scientific Benefits of Being Outdoors link: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/70548/11-scientific-benefits-being-outdoors#:~:text=BEING%20OUTDOORS%20GIVES%20YOU%20YOUR%20DAILY%20DOSE%20OF%20VITAMIN%20D.&text=It%20helps%20us%20absorb%20calcium,from%20casual%20exposure%20to%20sunlight.
  12. Understanding Nature and Its Cognitive Benefits , Kathryn E. Schertz , Marc G. Berman Link: Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 28, No. 5, 201
  13. Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experiences, Terry Hartig, Marlis Mang, Gary W. Evans, First Published January 1, 1991, Link https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916591231001

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *