Research suggests that 11.7 million days are lost per year due to stress, anxiety and depression. One possible way to reduce this is to get in touch with nature. A study conducted by The University of Exeter found that spending at least two hours per week within nature helps with overall health and wellbeing.
Whether that’s sitting in our gardens, walking our dogs, doing a spot of gardening, enjoying a run or dipping our toes in the sea, being outside within the nature has many health benefits.
Here, we’ll look at the benefits of what the great outdoors can do for our mind, body and soul.
Reduces Stress & Anxiety
According to research, those who live near green spaces have better overall health, including helping to lower high blood pressure. Stress can cause your blood pressure to increase and being in the great outdoors has been proven to help decrease stress levels.
Stress can impact profoundly on our health and wellbeing, and nature can help lower the cortisol hormone, which is what effects stress. Scenery outdoors has the ability to gently catch our attention, helping to calm our nerves rather than overpower them.
Exercise improves our health, but are you aware that exercising outside has even further benefits? If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, try training outside rather than an indoor alternative.
Sparks Your Energy
If you’re having a less productive day, head out to immerse yourself in nature. Even a short few minutes outside will help circulate oxygen around the body, reaching your brain, heart and muscles.
Even a short 10-minute stroll outside will release norepinephrine and epinephrine, which will help you feel energised.
Allows You To Connect With Your Feelings
If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, being in the great outdoors allows us to disconnect from technology and connect with our own thoughts and feelings. In this day and age, our lives are incredibly busy and getting outside will enable us to switch off from the outside world for a short period of time and focus on ourselves, rather than those that surround us.
Research suggests that being immersed in nature is strongly associated with the feeling of being content. By focusing on yourself, it will allow you to connect with your belonging in the world, which is beneficial in all aspects of our lives.
Exposure To Vitamin D
Although in the UK we aren’t always blessed with beaming sunshine, being outdoors still exposes us to sunlight, even if it’s through the clouds. The sunrays will hit our bodies which makes vitamin D. This helps to keep our teeth, muscles and bones healthy!
This is especially important if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as natural light has been proven to help reduce the effects of this.
Helps To Get A Better Sleep
Have you ever been inside all day and then struggled to sleep that evening? This is a common occurrence when we don’t leave the house during the day and get some fresh air.
It is said that being exposed to light helps our internal body clocks to understand when we need sleep and being within nature allows your body to do just that.
Benefits Focus & Creativity
A change of scenery can do a world of good, with nature often inspiring us more than looking at a screen. Research suggests that heading outside can enhance our memory and mood. Being exposed to the natural environment helps to boost our focus and attention span, which is beneficial for work.
It has been found that even when in an office, having views of nature outside can help increase concentration and productivity.
A study conducted in Australia found that being outside has been linked to better vision. It was found that children who spend longer within nature had reduced the risk of suffering from nearsightedness. This is due to our eyes needing to work harder indoors due to dim lighting; natural light can help relax our eyes.
Immersing yourself in nature has been proven to have many health benefits. It’s important nowadays to head outdoors due to the technological world we live in. These are just a number of benefits of being within nature.
How CBD Can Help
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