The Healing Power of the Outdoors

November 20, 2018 4 min read

Woman with eyes closed taking a deep breath at sunset in the woods.
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Spending Time in Nature and Enjoying Fresh Air Has Several Benefits

Being that we live in a technologically-advanced society with a mass amount of time spent on electronic devices, it should come as no surprise that many people are lacking in time spent outdoors in nature. This is, put simply, a challenge for mental health.

After all, exposure to natural environments can often lead to better mental health, increased happiness, and an improved overall sense of well-being.

In fact, there is a growing amount of evidence that suggests that nature has the power to help you feel a sense of escape from the stressful demands of daily life. We can enjoy great benefits from spending time outdoors, both mentally and physically.

But what role does nature play in our mental health and overall well-being?

How Does Nature Deprivation Affect Our Health?

In a tech-driven society, you are constantly overstimulated by external factors fighting for your attention. Unfortunately, many people spend a great deal of time indoors staring at a computer screen for work, only to go home and sit in front of a television screen.

That’s not even counting the billions of people who come home from work and stay on their smartphones for the remainder of the evening and night. The fact is that humans have an innate need to connect with nature and when you are missing out on making that connection, your mental health may suffer.

In a natural environment, your mind has a far better chance at restoring itself to help you concentrate. You’ll also benefit from more positive thoughts, and ultimately, you may experience enhanced productivity, contentment, and accomplishment. On the other hand, nature deprivation can lead to an increase in stress, higher blood pressure, imbalanced sleep patterns, and more. 

What Are the Benefits of Being Out in Nature?

There are several key benefits to spending time in nature, including:

  • Stress relief
  • Boost immune system
  • Improved mental health
  • More focus, concentration, and mental energy
  • Reduced inflammation
  • More creativity and creative thought
  • Reduced symptoms of ADD/ADHD
  • Better sleep and longevity
  • Lower chance of early death

The Science Behind Nature and Mental Health

Stanford scientists report that increased self-esteem, reduced stress, and improved memory and concentration are a few of the benefits that people of all ages have reported experiencing after spending time outside or viewing green environments.

But that’s not all: there are physical manifestations of mental health to back up this evidence, as well. A comparison of people in nature and those in a man-made environment showed some interesting differences. Those in the great outdoors showed a marked decrease in blood pressure, heart rate changes, and changes in brain activity compared to their indoor counterparts.

What’s more, being outside means you are acquiring plenty of vitamin D from the sun, which is known to help lower stress levels. Your eye health will also improve. Fresh air and exercise are great for your overall well-being as well as for achieving healthy cardiac rhythm. 

Getting in Touch with Nature

No doubt most people experience stress at various levels on a daily basis. The solution? Get active and get outdoors! It can be as simple as taking a stroll with family members through the neighborhood, walking to a coffee shop, or swinging and relaxing in a hammock in your own backyard.

Hammocks can turn a backyard into a personal respite where you find both pleasure and rest, giving you a way to connect with nature while improving your mental health.

If you find yourself limited on time for spending outdoors, you can always bring the outdoors inside. Hanging plants from the ceiling and placing them throughout the home is a great way to enjoy nature at its finest from within the comfort of your own home. You'll also find it beneficial to spend the most of your time indoors in places where you have views of the outdoors.

If you spend a lot of time in rooms that have no windows, hang pictures of outdoor scenes. You can also put images of the outdoors as your screensavers on your smartphone and computers

What about winter, though? Not to worry! You’ve got options there, too.

The same applies—get outside! Hanging in a hammock might get a bit chilly, but you can always hang yours near an indoor window. Add a few houseplants, and you’ll be amazed at how much it can transform a space. This set up can help you unwind and is perfect for year-round lounging. Place a bookshelf nearby with your favorite books, and you have a nature lover’s dream come true.

If you’re looking for the perfect hammock to enjoy the great outdoors in, we’ve got you covered.

We want to hear from you!

Whether it’s the occasional trip to a explore far away place or daily trips to the backyard to unwind, everyone has a preference on how they experience nature.
What are some other ways you like to enjoy the outdoors?

Leave us your comment below!

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