As we connect online more and more, connecting to the natural world can be even more crucial. Here we talk about the benefits to you.
The idea to ‘unplug and connect’ sounds like a cliché, but science is strong. According to The New York Times, even a quick walk in the park can positively impact our mental health. In fact, you don’t even need to be in nature to get the benefits.
Having a window view at your office is enough to reduce some work stress and make you feel better overall.
Reduce Your Stress
Our smart devices are undeniably useful, but they are also the source of a lot of stress. Being constantly connected to other people and receiving notifications all the time takes a toll.
Luckily, reconnecting with nature can help counteract those adverse side effects.
Next time you are feeling stressed, take a walk or simply go outside.
According to studies, taking deep breaths of fresh air can not only help you feel less stressed, but it can also help you be smarter and even live longer.
Increase Your Energy Levels
Many of us have experienced Zoom fatigue or felt sluggish after sitting at our computer or staring at our phones.
This is to be expected because it isn’t natural for humans to be sedentary while surrounded by technology.
Staying active can help raise energy levels, but going outside is even better.
Even if you just spend some time in your garden or take a leisurely walk around the block, it can help you feel more alive whilst you are connecting with the natural world.
Nature has a way of providing a greater sense of vitality which can motivate people to do more. Combining physical activity with fresh air can do wonders for your productivity levels.
Improved Immunity and Recovery
University of Illinois environment and behaviour researcher Ming Kuo has done studies to see the connections between nature and health.
He has seen evidence of nature having a profound effect on human immunity.
Kuo explains that being in nature switches our body into “rest and digest” mode rather than “fight or flight”.
When we are in this mode, our body is more capable of healing because our system isn’t shutting down everything that is immediately non-essential.
“When we feel completely safe, our body devotes resources to long-term investments that lead to good health outcomes – growing, reproducing, and building the immune system,” Kuo said to Science Daily.
Obviously, with better immunity comes quicker recovery. This is why hospitals, rehab facilities, and health retreats have gardens to improve well-being.
Studies show that hospital gardens can speed up healing from surgery, infections, and other ailments.
Ways to Reconnect With Nature
There are so many creative ways to reconnect with nature!
- Eat Outside
It doesn’t have to be a full-blown BBQ, although why not? Bring your breakfast and coffee out on the porch, or eat in your favourite park on your way to work.
If the weather is good, there is no reason why you shouldn’t eat outside!
- Work Outside
Not everyone can work outside, and those who can don’t always take full advantage of it. If your job requires a laptop, switch your desk out for a picnic bench and see how you feel!
- Stargazing Over TV
So many of us waste hours binging TV because there’s nothing else to do. Consider going outside and enjoying the night sky instead.
Stargazing is a great way to unwind, and you may even see a shooting star.
- Go Foraging
There is nothing more rewarding or natural to humans than searching for wild food resources. If you’re a beginner, do not go in blind.
Take a class and don’t take any chances when picking wild mushrooms, plants, or fruit.
- Learn to Identify Flora and Fauna
It doesn’t matter if you live in a city, there is always wildlife and plants.
There is so much evidence that being closer to nature has endless health benefits from less stress, more energy, and even improved immunity and recovery.
Plus, there really is no excuse not to spend more time outside.
There are so many ways to get you connecting to the natural world that are fun and make life better and all-around healthier.
Connecting to the natural world can be a great stress relief? But what if you have no green spaces on your doorstep? Well, some apps can help.
All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.