Andie Thueson » Mindset » 10 Incredible Health Benefits of Being In Nature

10 Incredible Health Benefits of Being In Nature

Life can be hard.

It can throw you some crazy curve balls that make you want to head back to the safety of your bed and never leave it again.

 Am I Right?

On my blog, I often talk about living your best life and becoming the most vibrant version of yourself. I have been blessed with an eternally optimistic personality, {I can even come off a little Pollyanna-ish} I firmly believe in the power of our thoughts and our ability to find happiness and joy within us. We all have everything within us to be truly happy.  

Sometimes everyday life and circumstances can push us back down and cause us to be knocked off our center. Even my sunny and peaceful self can be challenged and rocked to the core. In these hard and trying times, we really need to dig deep and find that inner strength and wisdom we know is there. Our inner wisdom, peace, and light will help guide and direct us through a lot of hard in our lives. This inner strength within us helps us navigate negative emotions and mental fatigue.

Whether you are a religious person or not – One can not step outside and into the beauty of our fantastic world without feeling the power and majesty that is nature. It is returning to the grandeur and beauty of nature that can be transformative and healing.

Photo of Andie with her shoes off and her toes nestled into the grass enjoying the healing health benefits of being in nature.
More and more science is beginning to back the claim and show the health benefits of being in nature.

Mother Nature Can Heal.   

So dear friends, if life has somehow sucker punched you…{It happens} Let me share how nature if you let it, can help to heal and strengthen you. Not only will your soul feel lighter and more aligned there are many physical health benefits of being in nature.

” I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put back together” – John Burroughs

“Nature itself is the best physician” – Hippocrates

 Wise men have counseled for years the importance of communing with nature and the power and benefits therein. 

Before I dive into the spiritual benefits of being in nature, let me share with you the benefits to your human health:

  1. Walks in nature improve your memory and have shown many cognitive benefits. In general, physical activity is great, but one study from the University of Michigan showed participants who took a memory test and then walked in nature did 20% better than those who took the test and then took a walk around in urban settings.
  2. Get Happy! Studies show that just 15 minutes outdoors can positively affect your mood.
  3. Nature Can Heal: One study shows that people exposed to more natural light healed faster from spinal surgery and reportedly had less pain than others.3 It seems nature served as a natural drug for them because they also took fewer pain medications.   
  4. Better Concentration: Taking a break in natural settings can improve your concentration by giving your brain a well-needed break. Leave your phone behind and let your mind unwind from the overstimulation so common with a modern, busy life. 
  5. Helps With Weight Loss: Being outside may not be a magical diet pill all by itself, but it does tend to make exercise more enjoyable. What’s more, some aspects of outdoor exercise like enjoying hiking trails may help you lose weight in an unexpected way. Spending time at higher altitudes can speed up your metabolism and lower your appetite.
  6. Get Some Much Needed Vitamin D: Spending time in the sun helps your body create vitamin D—a vitamin that studies have shown may help prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks.
  7. Helps Improve Stress Levels: Being in natural environments, even if just in your neighborhood, can reduce stress in the body. Studies show spending time outdoors can lower your heart rate, a symptom of stress reduction.
  8. Helps You To Age Gracefully: Want to age gracefully? Going outside and getting some fresh air every single day may be the key. One recent study showed that 70-year-old participants who spent time outside every day had fewer complaints of common aging pains (e.g., aching bones, muscle tension, poor sleep quality) at age 77 than those who didn’t.
  9. Strengthens Your Immune System: A Japanese study showed women who spent six hours in the woods over two days increased their white blood cells, which fight viruses, and the boost lasted about a week after the experiment.
  10. Can improve Mental Health: As shown above, being in Mother Nature heals you in many ways—including your mental health benefits. Multiple studies have linked nature walks with improved mental health. So if you find yourself in a funk, you can’t seem to shake. Head out into nature and bask in the sun, and enjoy a kickstart to a better mood.

As you can see, being outside and in nature offers many quantifiable health benefits. As scientists continue to study the science of the human-nature relationship, I think we’ll see a growing body of research that continues to show the many health benefits of nature.

*Source Selective Health Article

We, as humans, have a strong connection to natural places. If you slow down, you can probably inherently feel nature pulling at you. Anytime I step outside, whether in my backyard or a parking lot, and I feel the warmth of the sun, or I feel the cool air on my skin, and if I am truly paying attention, the majesty in that small moment is pretty dang cool and powerful. 

Why not quantify that. 

When you are feeling broken and need perspective, head into nature. 

Leave your phone, kids, and world behind – and go. 

Find a quiet spot that resonates with you. – If you are lucky and have mountains or preserves nearby – head there!

Or go into your backyard or nearby local park as long as you are outside somewhere! 

I love taking time to head outdoors to meditate!

Then allow yourself to relax and breathe. 

Sit and breathe – feel the air on your skin, feel the sun, feel the earth beneath you – be present at the moment. And here is the magic part…. Start to feel and express gratitude for every little thing you can touch and feel. Being grateful for even small, seemingly insignificant things can transport you and put your mind and thoughts into a better place. This feeling of love and gratitude can help you go back to your present hurt and fill that space with love and peace. It will not “fix” the problem – but it will help you fix how you feel and respond to it. After feeling centered and made whole within nature, the question becomes, how do you keep and hold onto those feelings of peace? We can and should find small and simple ways to infuse more nature into our daily lives, so we can continue to feel nature’s power and positive impact in our daily lives. 

Here are some easy and simple ways to infuse more natural surroundings into your daily life: 

  • Have beautiful indoor plants – find hearty ones! 
  • Decorate with elements of nature! – Save seashells from your trip to the beach to display, bring pine cones home from your walk in the woods. Be creative.
  • Bathe with Sea Salts – Sea Salt has amazing detoxifying qualities
  • Use soaps and personal care items infused with natural ingredients
  • Plant a garden 
  • Take a daily long walk or short walks out in nature
  • Try Forest Bathing
  • Take time for outdoor play
  • Enjoy outdoor activities
  • Spend time grounding or earthing every day

We all need to make spending time in natural landscapes something we do on a regular basis to fully take in and enjoy the benefits of being in nature. Spending time daily to connect to mother nature is magical. Not only will it help to calm our souls and invoke beautiful and positive emotions, but it will also literally help our bodies heal and function at their best. That is the role of nature to heal.

Much Love,

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3 Comments

  1. Love this post so much! Spending time outdoors always improves my mood, clarity and makes me feel alive. I try to walk outside almost every day and had no idea that it helps with improving memory. Love it!

  2. You are so right. It’s important this time of year to get outside and get a little dose of Vit D. Thanks for reminding me of the other benefits too!

  3. 5 stars
    So many great reminders here about how and why getting outside every day is one of the most important things we can do for our health. 🙂

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