The stress of an unpleasant environment can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or helpless. This in turn elevates your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension and suppresses your immune system. A natural environment reverses all of that.
Time in nature or viewing nature scenes increases our ability to pay attention – our ability to be more mindful.
Because humans find nature inherently interesting, we can naturally focus on what we are experiencing out in nature. This also provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks.
There are a growing number of studies and campaigns putting forward evidence that a connection with nature makes us healthier and happier people.
For example, children exposed to the natural world showed increases in self-esteem. In some cases, nature can significantly improve the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a calming influence and helping them concentrate.
And for people suffering from physical illness it’s been found that nature helps us cope with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other nature elements engrossing, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort.
Those suffering with mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety, interacting with nature can help people control their symptoms or even recover, alongside conventional medication.
It’s also been found that exposure to greenspaces reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.