Have you ever noticed how relaxed you feel when you’re out in nature? It is not just something made up – it actually causes people to feel more at peace. Being out in nature is one of the most effective stress relief prescriptions – and it is absolutely free.
Stress is such a common ailment for most people these days. I can definitely relate to that. I know I tend to hold a lot of stress. I seem to accumulate it in my shoulders and neck and somehow it’s difficult for me to relax with all the daily stresses in my life… but, I know I’m not alone.
People need more balance in their lives and stress is an enemy to balance. Stress breaks down and wears down our health. Americans are very much screen-addicted people and tied indoors to their computers and TV screens. There isn’t a balance between indoor and outdoor time anymore.
Health Benefits of Nature
The good news is that nature is an effective cure for stress and there are great benefits to being in the outdoors. Nature has many healing benefits and it is especially good to reduce stress. One thing that happens when we are in nature is that it helps to focus our minds on the beauty around us – the sights, sounds and smells of these things helps to combat the effects of stress. In this way, countless people have experienced its benefits. Nature helps our minds to unwind into a more peaceful state and put the stress of our life aside for a time.
Children and Stress
Do you remember playing outside when you were little until your mom called you in for dinner? I sure do! I would stay outside as long as I could, even on a cold winter day in New Hampshire! Whether it is winter or summer, the outdoors can be very therapeutic in the area of stress reduction, not only in adults, but also in children. Research has shown that children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.
Nature and Immune Function
It has been found that when people get out in nature their immune function increases. Possibly one factor of this is because it reduces stress. In Japan, something that is becoming increasingly popular is called “forest bathing”. The Japanese do this for the therapeutic benefits. By walking through forested areas and parks with many trees, they receive healing and stress reducing benefits.
People do many things to try to reduce their stress. Many people hike and bike in nature. Others stroll through beautiful flower gardens, parks, orchards and vineyards. Many people find the sound of water to be very calming – like the sound of a water fountain in a garden, the sound of the rushing water of a waterfall or the trickling sound of a little stream. Whatever your choice may be, being in nature with its beautiful sights, sounds and smells helps to relieve the effects of stress on our lives.