5 Reasons To Reconnect With Nature
In today’s modern, technology filled world it is so important for us to take the time to reconnect with nature.
Do you ever wonder why going for a walk can be so calming? Why taking a break in nature can make you feel so refreshed? Nature is more crucial in our lives than we give credit, and it’s healing powers are immense.
Nature provides us with some of the most important things we need to live a physically and mentally healthy life! Here’s just a few reasons why it is so vitally important, even more so today, that we make time in our lives to reconnect with nature in some way.
NATURE IS PHYSICALLY CLEANSING
We take for granted the feeling of walking in the sunlight. The feeling we all know when it warms your skin. Sunlight provides your body with vitamin D which is important for calcium absorption that leads to strong healthy bones. Vitamin D also supports our immune system and is just as important as that apple a day!
Nothing is quite like the fresh air that you get high up in the mountains or in pristine natural environments like lush forests and unexplored coastlines. Sometimes we only realise how polluted our air has become when we move away from the city and breathe in truly fresh air.
When oxygen is cleaner, our blood cells become healthier, our breathing becomes easier and our heart rate lowers. That feeling of calm and relaxation when you’re in nature? There it is. The bodies true response to being reconnected with nature.
Not only that, but being in touch with nature also increases your body’s production of oxytocin, which is fondly called ‘the love hormone’. It’s responsible for human bonding and social interaction. So nature can actually help us to appreciate our close relationships more, value our community and have a generally better outlook on life and others.
A popular study was conducted in a hospital that had patients who had views of nature from their bed, while others did not have views at all. It was found that those patients with views would heal faster and check out quicker than those who had no views. Being in touch with nature leads to an increased production of beta-endorphins which causes reduced pain levels, making healing easier and therefore faster. Stress levels lower and exercise becomes easier. Not only is this great for healing, but it encourages you to be more physically active.
NATURE IS MENTALLY CLEANSING
Spending time in nature not only improves your physical health but improves your mental health as well. Studies conducted on the concept have become more popular as we consistently see the benefits becoming more well-known. Research shows that there is a reduction in depression, anxiety and overall negativity in people who spend more time in nature.
Creativity and inspiration of some of the most famous artists in the world come from the beauty of our nature and spending time within it. We are seeing more and more cases of depression in today’s modern world and some might say this is due to our lack of physical socialisation and spending less time in nature. Spending less time online, and more time outside, could definitely improve ones’ mood and ability to cope with stressful situations.
So, if you are stressed, go for a walk. If you have an opportunity to get outdoors and reconnect with nature, do it! Leave the phone at home and truly take in the natural world around you. Feeling overwhelmed with life, things too busy with work? Make sure you take time to take care of your mental health. Book a getaway to the bush or in the mountains, go camping, or simply make time in your day to get in touch with nature. Plant a garden, yes, even a pot plant! There is nothing more powerful than natural healing.
SOCIAL BONDS / INSPIRATION
While many people love to explore the outdoors in solitude, getting outside, going hiking or spending time with nature typically includes groups of friends, families or like minded people.
Spending time outdoors creates more opportunity for friends and families to come together and socialise. Whether it is hiking, going for a picnic, taking a walk in the park or even just gardening, these are all things that can be enjoyed outdoors and with others.
It has been said that nature has powerful effects on relationships and deepens bonds. The mentally cleansing benefits are a major player in this regard, like the release of ‘oxytocin when we are close to nature. Improving our attention and focus on others, allowing us to pick up on social cues more easily and to just generally feel more positively towards others.
Whether it is camping with the family, a road trip with friends, Sunday afternoons spent at the park with the family, or walking on the beach in the evenings, nature provides us with endless opportunities to create traditions and rituals with our loved ones. Traditions that can be adopted and carried down through future generations. Keeping the future enjoying nature, and coming together to really be together and get back to nature.
NATURE IS HUMBLING
Have you ever walked outside or been on a hike and thought, ‘Wow, nature is incredible’. I know I have. Something so simple as a tree that grows delicious edible fruits, a bee collecting pollen to create yummy sticky honey and pollinating our world, all reminders of how much bigger nature is than us, and how it really can live without us. Sunsets, massive mountain ranges, natural phenomena all show us the grandeur of nature, something that could never be cloned by man.
While the beauty of nature is humbling in itself, the dangers of nature can be even more so. Whether you come face to face with one of nature’s dangerous animals or plant life, a tree falling on your home, or a lightning strike taking out your power (Oh no, no WIFI!), nature can be unpredictable and frightening.
Natural disasters prove that we are insignificant to the forces of nature, and is a resulting effect of our negligence. We are in charge of protecting our nature, while it tries so desperately to defend itself. It’s a cycle of destruction and a reminder that we as human beings are at fault for nature’s destruction, resulting in our own. It reminds us that we are small, and we are not completely in control.
We have to respect nature in order to protect it.
PRESERVATION OF NATURE
With all the destruction happening in our world from species extinctions to natural disasters and global warming, if we continue to forget our responsibilities towards nature, there will be nothing left for our future generations to enjoy.
Please, take the time to learn how to respect nature, and teach this to your children. Learn the value of our earth and how to preserve it. Get into nature and experience it! Respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ principle that aim to keep our national parks clean and our animals safe.
The onus is on us to keep our environment clean and respect the complex ecosystems around us. Our future generations not only deserve to enjoy the world we know, but to know the importance of nature in our lives.
All of these concepts show that working closer to nature, spending more time in nature and learning to appreciate nature has so many benefits for our physical and mental health. It can also educate future generations on how to value and respect nature around them and the importance of nature in our everyday lives.
I think Sylvia Plath had it right when she said, “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”
This guest post was authored by Mark Whitman
Mark Whitman is a hiking enthusiast who has trekked many of the world’s iconic mountain ranges. He has traveled to over 50 countries pursuing his love of hiking and the outdoors! He created Mountain IQ to share his passion with others.