The Benefits of Being Outside in Nature

June 7, 2023

For far too long, we have spent our time indoors behind glowing screens, detached from our true selves and the vibrant world that surrounds us, confined in artificial environments that sever our connection to both ourselves and the vast world beyond. Nature, a resplendent tapestry of marvels, holds within its grasp an ethereal power—a transformative elixir and a balm for the weary soul.

​​In previous years, I’ve pondered and searched, striving to discover the optimal supplement or home remedy for a specific ailment, or the most profound medicinal substance, the end all be all constituent for elevating health and vitality. I recently stumbled upon a revelation that was so obvious yet somehow forgotten. Behold! A truth so glaring yet camouflaged by its own simplicity. The extraordinary remedy lies, not in bottles or concoctions, but in the open arms of the wild outdoors.

Ahhh, yes mother nature–one of the most powerful and might I add, FREE sources of medicine that so many of us, myself included, have rudely overlooked. As we bask in the sun’s golden ambrosia, let the tender caress of the soil grace our fingertips, and inhale the sweet nectar of revitalizing air that dances upon our breath, we are immersed in a symphony of rejuvenation. This great enchantment, meticulously woven by nature’s own hand, reaches beyond the mere bounds of our physical well-being, permeating every facet of our existence.

Dear reader, as I wrote this introductory piece on nature, I found myself compelled to infuse it with a poetic flair. I could not truly delve into the subject without indulging in a touch of symbolism and flowery (hehe) expression. 

Let us now transition into a more straightforward discussion, focusing on the significant advantages that await us in the embrace of the great outdoors.

1. Improved Mental Health

Nature has a remarkable ability to calm the mind and soothe the soul. Many studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The tranquility and beauty of natural environments can help us relax, unwind, and find a sense of peace. Whether it’s taking a leisurely walk in the park, hiking through a forest, or simply sitting by a lake, nature provides a much-needed respite from the pressures of everyday life.

2. Physical Health Benefits

Being outside in nature also offers numerous physical health benefits. The fresh air is invigorating and can improve our lung function and oxygen intake. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or swimming engage our bodies in exercise, promoting cardiovascular health, strength, and flexibility. Regular exposure to natural sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, essential for strong bones, a healthy immune system, and optimal mental health.

3. Increased Focus and Creativity

Nature has a way of inspiring and rejuvenating our minds. Research suggests that spending time in natural surroundings can enhance cognitive function, including memory, attention, and creativity. The sights, sounds, and scents of nature engage our senses and stimulate our brains, allowing us to think more clearly and creatively. Whether it’s a stroll in the park or a weekend camping trip, time spent in nature can improve our ability to focus and problem-solve.

4. Boosted Immune System

Exposure to diverse natural environments exposes us to a wide range of microorganisms, which can actually strengthen our immune system. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors increases our white blood cell count, which helps fight off infections and diseases. Furthermore, breathing in phytoncides, the natural compounds released by trees and plants has been linked to enhanced immune function and reduced inflammation.

5. Stress Reduction and Improved Sleep

Nature acts as a highly potent stress reliever. The sights and sounds of the outdoors, such as chirping birds, rustling leaves, or the gentle flow of a river, have a calming effect on our nervous system. Being in nature helps normalize cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress when it is released in excess or at the wrong times during the day. Nature also promotes the release of endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” chemicals. As a result, spending time in nature can improve the quality of our sleep, helping us wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

The Benefits of Being Outside are Vast

The benefits of being outside in nature encompass our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Nature, with its awe-inspiring power, serves as a remarkable source of restoration and rejuvenation. Thus, let us embark on a deliberate journey to prioritize the sacred act of spending time in nature, whether it be a tranquil stroll through a nearby park or an adventurous escapade into the wilderness. By reconnecting with the earth’s splendor, we invite a harmonious equilibrium, a delightful tapestry of joy, and a vivacious rekindling of vitality into the very fabric of our lives.

Resources

​​https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature

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