Managing stress

Managing stress

October 13, 2019

How nature can reduce stress and anxiety

Man relaxing

According to recent research, the environment can have a positive effect on stress levels. The sounds, smells, and sights of nature can cheer you up when you’re in a stressful, poor mood, which will ultimately lead to a healthier body. These positive changes in the body’s senses can help increase immunity, ease your nervous system, and amplify your endocrine system.

When you are stressed, you feel sad, helpless, and anxious. In turn, your blood pressure elevates, your heart rate increases, and you suffer from increased muscle tension. Being outdoors and enjoying nature can help alleviate these ailments. Here are some of the ways nature can help reduce your stress.

Helps promote healing

When you are in an open, natural environment, your bad feelings will melt away. Being outside helps reduce feelings of anger, stress, and fear while increasing positive emotions. You will feel better emotionally, which will impact your physical health. When you spend time outdoors, you start feeling less anxious and begin to think more clearly. Due to decreased stress and blood pressure levels, some scientists believe that nature increases longevity.

Helps cope with pain

If you are in chronic pain, time outside can help you feel more comfortable. Pain is stressful, which does not add to your mental well-being. Trees, plants, and the sound of water are engrossing and help to distract you from pain. Some hospitals even implement plants and elements of nature as a way to promote healing after surgeries and therapies. A natural environment helps divert your attention away from what you are currently going through.

Helps you pay attention

Being out in nature also enables you to develop an improved attention span, particularly for those who have a difficult time concentrating or have ADHD. When you are unable to focus on one thing at a time, your mind becomes too busy to settle down. You may have feelings of discontent, which can cause stress.

When exposed to nature, you have time away from your electronic devices and other things that take your attention away. You will have the opportunity to focus on the beauty around you. Nature can help provide relief for an overactive mind and help you reevaluate what is truly important.

Helps you connect

Time in nature also allows you connect to what really matters to you. Whether it’s relationships or a better connection to the world around you, nature has a way of helping you zero in on what is ultimately important. You will have the time to think about those who are important to you, how to heal broken relationships, or work through feelings of resentment you currently have with someone.

Helps with fatigue

Although hiking seems counterintuitive when you are tired, it can help you beat feelings of constant fatigue. When you are stressed, whether you’re at work or busy at home with your family life, you can get distracted and disoriented. Your brain can start to feel overworked and exhausted. Nature helps your brain relax, which resets your mood and restores your mental abilities.

Helps inspire creativity

A change of scenery to a more natural environment can also help inspire your creativity. When you are stressed, you put activities you enjoy on the back burner to deal with what is stressing you out at the time. A natural environment can stimulate your brain and boost your feelings. It will motivate you to do those things you enjoy most. Not only will you begin to take on more creative projects, but you’ll also find that it will help improve your thinking process. You may even find decision-making easier.

If you are dealing with stress and anxiety in your everyday life, try getting out a few times each week, even if only for 30 minutes. Your mood will begin to improve, and you’ll have a clear, fresh mind. You will ultimately feel happier and healthier.

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