and ramblings on everything in between
It’s no secret I like all things nature. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the country and spent countless hours in the woods, in the garden, next to pastures, and at the creek. I can’t explain the power it has over me. I do my best writing when I’m on a walk. I dream up plans for my future when I’m in the woods. And my version of heaven is a warm lake and a hot sun.
After reading Your Brain on Nature by Eva Selhub and Alan Logan, I now have a new appreciation for my love. Your brain, your body, and your spirit enjoy magnificent benefits when you step outside and spend time in greenspace. You don’t have to go deep into the woods or get away from city noise to enjoy the benefits. Simply being in a city park can do wonders to calm your nerves, quiet your brain, and relax your mind.
The book shares ample research proving that adults and children with ADHD are able to focus better when completing tasks outside, children score higher on exams when the classroom windows face greenspace, patients heal faster in hospitals when hospital room windows face trees and grass, and children are significantly more active when they play outside verses inside.
My favorite take-away is trees and plants emit low-levels of fragrances that are undetectable by the human nose but are vital to boost our immune system, improve our mood, and minimize depression. Yep, that’s right – just taking a big wiff of fresh air will make you healthier! No wonder doctors used to prescribe time in the country as a way to heal ailments back in the olden days. It really does work. Of course our awesome God would think to connect us with nature in this way! He thought of everything. 😉
It’s also proven that staring at a nature scene for 30 seconds can improve your focus. I immediately changed by computer background to a photo I took of the mountains, and now I remind myself to close everything a few times a day to stare at it. It might sound hokey, but it really does make me feel better!
A few months ago, I spent a day kayaking with a friend. She rarely spends time outside or exercising, and she battles anxiety. She had a wonderful day on the river and told her therapist it was the most fun she had had in a long time. I think that had little to do with the company she enjoyed that day, and a lot to do with the fact that she was out experiencing nature. She unknowingly reaped the benefits a little Vitamin G (greenspace) has on us.
For anyone interested in learning about your brain, how your brain responds to nature, or why nature is so awesome, I highly recommend this book. I can’t look at trees the same now. Maybe reading isn’t your speed – but no matter. I challenge you to get outside this weekend – even if only for 10 minutes – and I fell the difference it makes in your day. Your brain and body will thank you for it!