The beginning of a new year always brings reflection on our habits and the direction we want to give to our lives. Among the numerous resolutions we can formulate, there is one that should be indispensable: spending more time in nature.
In the hustle of everyday life, we often forget how essential it is for our physical and mental well-being to establish a connection with the natural world. This connection is part of our existence, but, immersed in our commitments, we risk neglecting it. The start of the year is the perfect opportunity to rediscover the importance of spending time in nature, fully benefiting from its positive influence on our health and happiness, whether it’s through relaxing weekend walks or a refreshing monthly bath.
5 reasons you need to spend more time in nature
Because we are now more accustomed to spending the majority of our time inside boxes, we have lost our connection with nature, from which we are increasingly detached. Forgetting that we too are nature. How can we then reconnect with nature, and more importantly, why is it necessary to do so?
Being in nature is a powerful stress reliever, supported by a growing body of scientific research. The experience of spending time in natural environments has been associated with significant benefits for stress management and mental health. Among the evident benefits highlighted in studies are:
- Reduction of cortisol levels: Time spent in nature is directly linked to a decrease in cortisol levels. Just 20 minutes in a natural environment can yield these benefits.
- Contact with natural elements: The sound of birds, rustling trees, or the sound of the wind are all natural elements that have a positive impact on our sensory perception, inducing a state of relaxation and calm.
- Relaxation state: Unlike urban areas where we are constantly exposed to stimuli, in a natural environment, our minds can relax. This state of relaxation promotes the reduction of chronic stress.
Biodiversity enhances well-being:
According to an intriguing study conducted by a group of German researchers and published in Ecological Economics, it has emerged that the variety of species in our environment significantly influences our well-being. The research has shown that rich biodiversity not only contributes to the stability of ecosystems but also has a direct impact on the mental and physical health of individuals. Areas with greater biological diversity are associated with higher levels of well-being, stress reduction, and improvement in the quality of life. It is not strictly necessary to see the surrounding biodiversity; even just hearing its sounds, such as a flowing stream or a singing bird, contributes. These results underscore the importance of preserving and promoting biodiversity as an integral part of our individual and collective well-being.
Improvement of relationships:
Have you ever noticed how, during a walk in nature, it’s natural to greet those you encounter, while in the city, this rarely happens? This phenomenon underscores the influence of the surrounding environment on our social interactions. Nature, with its beauty and tranquility, creates a context that inspires us to share a simple greeting or smile with others.
The serene and rejuvenating atmosphere of nature promotes a positive attitude, making us more open and inclined to mutual listening. Sharing experiences in nature plays a significant role in strengthening human connections. Outdoor excursions, trips, or walks become not only moments of relaxation but also opportunities to create deeper connections with those around us.
Nature activates our mind:
Numerous studies have explored the profound connection between nature and human faculties, demonstrating how this connection positively influences creativity, productivity, and lateral thinking development. Observing nature with a curious and open perspective can unleash creativity, fostering new ideas and solutions. The diversity of shapes, colors, and movements in nature provides a wide spectrum of inspiration that can be translated into innovative projects and original thoughts. Additionally, contact with nature has been associated with increased productivity, as it offers a rejuvenating break that recharges the mind and enhances concentration.
Vitamin D is essential for our well-being and is largely produced internally by our body. But how does this vital process occur? The answer is as simple as it is beneficial: spend time in the sun! Approximately 90% of the vitamin D needed by our body is synthesized in the skin through exposure to sunlight.
This precious nutrient plays a fundamental role in various aspects of our health:
- Contributes to improving metabolism, promoting an optimal balance in bodily functions;
- Boosts the immune system, providing a natural defense against diseases and infections;
- Contributes to the formation of strong bones, essential for skeletal health and the prevention of conditions such as osteoporosis;
- Has a positive impact on our mood and overall well-being. Its presence is associated with a sense of well-being, contributing to the regulation of serotonin levels, the hormone of good mood.