How often do you get a chance to get out and enjoy nature? How intentional are you in including the outdoors in your routine? I have discovered that nature is a vital part of my healing process for my depression and great for my well-being. I am drawn to the beauty and quiet of nature and find it restorative. However, I didn’t know the science behind it. There actually is research that shows how nature supports your physical well-being and can rock your world!
Natures increases Vitamin D through sunlight
By getting out and enjoying the sunshine, you are getting an extra dose of Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be a mood enhancer, a fighter against depression, heart attacks and strokes. Of course, you have to protect yourself against ultraviolet rays but the Vitamin D is a help to fight off that depression.
Fresh air increases oxygen to the body
By getting outside, you are naturally exposed to fresher air (unless you’re breathing lots of car emissions!) Brains need lots of oxygen and deep breathing helps reduce stress. More oxygen to the body also raises serotonin levels, a natural mood enhancer.
Walking outside improves concentration and creativity
There is something about the colors, textures and fresh air that gives your brain a break. By getting outside, even briefly, you have a chance to notice things outside yourself. This brain break has been shown to improve concentration and creativity as it allows you to relax, focus on something else for a few moments and take in a different focus.
Disease fighting cells increase
Disease fighting cells, called Natural Killer cells (NK’s) increase by 50%. By getting outdoors, you give your body a chance to regenerate these cells. No wonder your mother always told you to get outside to play!
Pain decreases, healing improves
Various studies in hospitals have shown that as we get outside, pain actually decreases and healing improves. Even plants or seeing nature from a window makes a difference. I know for myself, moving to the country where there is more quiet, large oak trees (see the picture above, taken from my window), I see and hear nature every day. This has improved my daily headaches.thank goodness!
Social networks can increase
Being outdoors can increase our social networks by being intentional. Choosing to schedule a walk with a friend or take the family dog for a walk can get you out the door. It can be a time of family, friend or neighbor get togethers. I know in our neighborhood, it’s the time we see our neighbors the most, as we’re out walking and making those important connections.
Nature’s sounds and quiet can be meditative
Getting out to where it is quiet can slow down your thinking and give you a chance to hear your own heart. Time away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy solitude in nature can be very restorative. Beauty in nature can speak to your soul.
Which one of these seven ways speaks to you? Which one will you try this week? Let me know how you feel after incorporating nature into your physical routine at NancyBoothCoaching facebook or in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear how you let nature rock your world!
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.