Time in Nature

With the hustle and bustle of every day, we have moved more and more away from spending time in nature. We are constantly on our phones and tablets, working and shuffling our families around leaving us little time to spend in nature the way we used to.

It used to be that those who were stressed were thought to be drawn to more and more screen time due to the current state of their mental status. It was thought screen time helped those with anxiety or depression by taking them away from the circumstances that were causing anxiety and depression. However, more studies have shown that the more time spent on various devices, also known as “screen time”, the more exaggerated the symptoms of anxiety and depression are.

A new term has arisen as a result of the amount of time those spend in front of their screens called “videophilia”. This condition speaks to the amount of time people spend away from nature rather than having the necessary engagement with natural light, sounds, animals, trees, birds, and water.

Feeling a mental fog, or feeling down?

Studies show that even a small amount of time in nature can help to correct this. Have a dog? Grab him or her and go for a walk! Find somewhere local to you where you can walk through the woods, maybe by a stream, listen to the birds and let Rover run. You will be amazed at the sense of calm and relief you may feel as a result of even just a short walk!

Japanese studies have shown that walking in the woods, as opposed to walking in a busy city setting, can help to lower stress hormone levels as well as many other bodily markers for stress. Even the body’s natural so-called “killer cells” have been shown to improve in activity, therefore, boosting immunity.

In an interesting Korean study, scenes shown to participants of urban areas immediately triggered activity in the amygdala, the area in the brain associated with the fight or flight response. However, when the same participants were shown scenes from nature, the areas within their brains associated with empathy showed much-increased activity.

Research has also found that children who are afflicted with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have benefited greatly with more access to time spent in nature.

If you are finding that you are feeling anxious, or depressed or even just a general mental fog. Make a concerted effort to take time out during your day to get into nature!

By | 2019-04-29T19:57:29+00:00 April 29th, 2019|Categories: Self Care|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Time in Nature

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