Are you aware how does nature impact our wellbeing?
Whenever I find myself stressed & tired I used to take a walk in the park, take a ride in the countryside or pack my bags to explore the unexplored territories around pune or hiking. Every time I indulge in these activities, I find them rejuvenating leaving a question in mind why all this happen though some of these activities require physical efforts. So I googled to look out what makes it rejuvenating. Surprising! I was not aware of all these situations nature & the scenic beauty worked as stress buster & rejuvenating. The reason behind it was we never observe very keenly our surrounding & how our surrounding impacts our health & happiness?
Research has proved that environment has played a vital role in increasing or decreasing a person’s stress which in turn impacts our health. Our surrounding influences the way we see, hear and experience things has a significant effect on our mood as well as our nervous system
The stress of an unfriendly environment can cause anxiety within you. This will affect your blood pressure levels, heart rate, muscle tension & can also results in immune system disorders and production of stress hormones. A pleasing environment reverses these. That is why humans find nature pleasing irrespective of age or culture. As mentioned in the book Healing Garden the study shows that more than two-thirds of people choose a natural setting to retreat to when stressed.
Spending time with nature or even experiencing the scenic beauty of nature helps to control anger, reduce fear & stress and boosts the happy feeling. Exposure to nature makes you feel better emotionally contributing to your physical health which results in higher life expectancy as explained by many health researchers. This is nicely demonstrated by the simple experiment of putting a single plant in a room in hospitals, offices, and schools have a significant impact on stress and anxiety which you can easily test this by surrounding yourself with plants.
Besides healing, nature helps us cope with pain because humans are genetically evolved and programmed to engross natural elements such as trees, plants, water, etc. we are fascinated by the natural beauty and distracted from our pain and discomfort. A classic study of patients in an accident hospital who underwent a critical surgery revealed that the patients who had a window view of natural beauty had better pain tolerance and shown faster recovery and spent less time in a hospital than other patients.
Nature’s influence on general wellbeing is one of the most exciting areas of recent studies. It is observed that 95% of participants in this kind of research study mentioned spending time in nature away from their hectic schedule improved their mood to more calm & balanced state from stressed. Being close to nature is emotionally positive & significant. It improves our concentration abilities and provides a respite for our overactive minds refreshing us for new tasks.
Spending time and connecting with people has become very significant socioeconomically. Nature has a significant role in connecting people to each other. People living in the proprieties surrounded by more green space are likely to know more people creating a strong feeling of unity with neighbors & having more supportive and helping qualities. All this results in a greater sense of community, with decreased levels of violence, and better capacity to face life’s challenges. This phenomenon of connection was illustrated through studies measuring brain activities using MRI. When participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up, but when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated. It appears as though nature inspires feelings that connect us to each other and our environment.