Kick off your Shoes and Connect with Nature
Have you ever noticed how more alive and rejuvenated you feel after spending time in nature?
Your surroundings can vastly affect the way you think and feel. Regular exposure to nature has been shown to be healthy for the mind, body, and soul.
Here are four of the reasons why connecting to nature is beneficial to our well-being.
The Calming Effects of Nature
The beauty and serenity of nature creates a sense of peace that is not usually found in busy urban environments. Spending time in nature is one of the most effective ways to reduce everyday stress and mental fatigue. Being in such a spacious, relaxing environment helps your mind to recharge and helps put you in a positive mood. Whether this is in the woods, a forest, a nature strip, park, or the beach.
Going barefoot in nature is even more beneficial, as it allows your body to come into direct contact with the earth and truly connect with nature. Getting outside and walking barefoot has been shown to help regulate the nervous system, strengthen your immune system, and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It is thought that the influx of free electrons from Earth’s surface helps to neutralize free radicals and reduce both acute and chronic inflammation and accelerated aging.
Experts on earthing and grounding believe this practice can help improve circulation, which means you are better able to distribute nutrients throughout your body and also carry waste and toxins out. Enhanced circulation can have a tremendous effect on the body in boosting our well-being.
Nature Calms Depression
The use of nature as a form of therapy has gained the interest of scientists, researchers, and nature enthusiasts. Reconnecting with nature has been shown to be beneficial for easing some of the symptoms of depression. The very act of being in nature promotes mindfulness and gratitude. The inherent ‘peace and quiet’ of natural environments can help to clear your mind of unnecessary worries and reduce feelings of anger and tension.
Being outdoors also encourages healthy physical activity. Not only does exercise increase your energy levels and make you physically stronger, but it also makes you feel happier. Movement produces endorphins, the natural chemicals in your body that elicit feelings of pleasure. When you combine exercise with the mood-boosting effects of being in nature, you address both the emotional and physical needs of your body.
The Natural Light of Nature Improves Sleep
Poor quality sleep can have a negative impact on our state of well-being. Problems with sleeping are commonly linked to anxiety and depression. Spending more time in nature exposes your body to natural light – which can do wonders to your sleep pattern. Natural light helps to regulate your natural body clock. Being exposed to sunlight regularly will allow you to normalize your sleep schedule and ensure you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Nature Encourages Social Connection
Social Connection is important for our mental health and overall well-being. Getting outside in nature forces you to unplug from technology and connect with the people around you. Green spaces provide an array of opportunities for people to engage in group social activities like sports and nature-based activities. These outdoor group activities encourage social inclusion and help to build strong social communities of people. This can help provide people with a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Getting out into the great outdoors is a habit that we can incorporate into daily lives – whether that involves hiking in the woods, going to the local park, or simply sitting in your green garden. Regularly reconnecting with the natural world will allow you to live a much healthier, happier lifestyle.
If you are unable to get out into nature, why not try listening to our nature sounds and let your imagination take you there.
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