After a year + of pandemic life, we need to find ways to improve our overall wellness. Fear, stress, anxiety, isolation, and frustration all take their toll on our health and wellness. Everyone has different levels of comfort of what they can and can’t do right now due to the pandemic, but everyone can benefit from nature.
There are many ways to bring nature into your life and the benefits can’t be ignored.
Everything you sense has an impact on your mood and your well-being. Your senses regulate your hormones and nervous system, and more. When you spend time in nature, your senses help to restore balance to your body.
Nature Improves Your Concentration and Balances Your Mood
Nature helps to ease your mind, calm your stress and soothe your anxiety. This helps you to feel more calm, content and in control of your life. When you’re calm and focused, you can concentrate on more important matters (instead of obsessing and/or stressing over insignificant matters).
Spending time outside and green spaces energizes you, helps you to find more meaning in life, and gives you a more positive outlook on life.
Being outside helps improve your problem-solving skills and boosts your creativity.
Nature therapy can even be used as a treatment for ADHD.
Being Outside and Around Trees Improves Your Breathing and Boosts Your Immune System
When you’re outside, you breathe in fresh air. Trees take in our carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. If you’re feeling stuffy, congested, or short of breath, try to get outside in a wooded area and take in some deep breaths.
Your body produces vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is critical to keep your immune system functioning properly.
Fresh air and sunshine truly are Mother Nature’s best medicines.
Nature Heals Your Mind, Body and Spirit
Science has shown that being in nature can lower your blood pressure, relax tense muscles, reduce your heart rate, and decrease stress hormone production. Science has also discovered that people who spend more time in their natural environment tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Nature Soothes Pain and Discomfort
Being in nature can help you better manage chronic pain and discomfort. When your mind is calm and focused on your natural surroundings, you’re less focused on your pain. Being in nature can also trigger your body to release pain-reducing endorphins.
Nature Helps You Feel More Connected and Purposeful
When you spend more time in nature, you naturally start to feel more connected. You feel more connected to nature and to the important people in your life. When you feel more connected, you feel more purposeful.
Science has shown there is less crime and violence in areas where there is more green space and natural elements, even if the area is generally low resourced.
Best Ways to Enjoy Nature in Columbus
Of course, you don’t have to go anywhere special or pay money to experience nature. Just get outside. Walk around your neighborhood or a nearby neighborhood if you live in an apartment complex. Or check out any of the local neighborhood parks.
But if you’re looking for more of an adventure check out any of the following:
- Any of the Columbus Metro Parks
- The Columbus Zoo
- Franklin Park Conservatory
- The Wilds
- Zip Zone
- Olentangy Caverns
- Chadwick Arboretum
- Olentangy Bike Path
- Gator Bike Park in Worthington
What to Do When You Can’t Get Outside
If you can’t physically get outside, you can still benefit from looking at nature scenes and listening to natural sounds.
Another way to experience nature when you can’t get outside is to bring plants into your home. They help to brighten up your home and they help cleanse and oxygenate the air in your home.
You can also bring nature into your home by diffusing essential oils. Essential oils have powerful plant compounds that can benefit your health and well-being.
Open your windows to help bring in the fresh air and brighten up the mood in your home (even if you have screaming matches with your kids, your neighbors won’t mind!)
We’ve all learned this past year not to take our health for granted. If something as simple as being outside in nature can help you live a longer, healthier and happier life, what is holding you back?