When you’re feeling down and you want to find the easiest and most soothing natural remedy, try this: take a deep breath, think of somewhere pretty, then go there. That’s right: your favorite tree, the pathway behind your house, or the nearest park. It will do your mind and soul wonders, and here’s why.
1) Fights Depression
Do you often lose track of your mental health when you’re busy working or planning for the future, and you want to take better care of it? Here’s the good thing about those weekend hikes and outdoor runs: they make you live in the moment and help you take stock of what’s around you, which is the best thing possible for your happiness. A recent study on ecotherapy found that simply taking a walk in nature reduced depression scores in 71 percent of participants; it helps you get out of your own head and enjoy the beauty around you, and even contribute to it (like tentree planting trees), which will make you feel more connected to the earth and yourself.
2) Reduces Stress
If you get stressed easily and you want to reach a higher level of zen, you might find that nature helps alleviate the pressures of daily life in the best way possible. Studies have shown that being immersed in the outdoors can greatly reduce stress levels, which means you’re lowering your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity too. When stress is absent from your life, every aspect of your health will be improved — so get out there and find your natural solace under a tree, and maybe do some meditating.
3) Boosts Focus
Suffer from a little ADD every so often? Or maybe you get easily overwhelmed and bombarded by social media and phones, and you love just stepping away from it all to clear your mind. Even better than turning to 3 cups of coffee per day is choosing to work near a window or outside, because nature helps your brain focus. Just 20 minutes outside can boost your energy too, and you’ll definitely be more upbeat and alert when you’re not fatigued.
4) Makes You More Creative
The beautiful “soft fascination” of the outdoors is perhaps what draws us to it — and it also gives your brain a respite from the cacophony and over-stimulation of the modern world, where smartphones and Facebook reign. Research shows that getting away from it all in nature gives your mind a break, allowing it to turn its full attention to imagination, deeper thinking and problem-solving; and as a result boosts your creativity.
5) Makes You Happier
Nature makes you happy, plain and simple. Perhaps it has something to do with losing yourself in the moment and the beauty around you, appreciating all the good things the earth has to offer us, and learning to be grateful for the positive things in our lives.
As author Richard Louv smartly puts it, “I’ve been arguing for a while that connection to nature should be thought of as a human right.”