Research is finding all the various ways that nature benefits our well-being health and relationships.
Humans have intuited that being in nature is good for the body and mind. From native adolescents completing rites of passage in the wild to modern East Asian civilizations carrying “woods baths,” many have looked to nature for a place for recovery and personal development.
Why nature? No one knows for certain, but one hypothesis derived from evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson’s”biophilia” theory suggests that there are evolutionary reasons people find nature experiences. We may have tastes to be in beautiful, natural spaces because they are resource-rich environments–ones that offer optimum food, shelter, and comfort. These evolutionary needs may explain why kids are drawn to natural environments and the reason why we prefer nature to become part of our architecture.
In particular, seeing nature appears to be inherently profitable, creating a cascade of position relaxing and emotions our nervous systems. These in turn help us to cultivate increased openness, creativity, link, generosity, and endurance.
How nature helps us feel good and do great
The naturalist John Muir once wrote about the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California: “We’re now in the mountains and they’re in us, kindling enthusiasm, which makes every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” Certainly, he found the character’s amazing imagery a favorable, emotive experience.
However, what exactly does science say? Several studies have looked at how seeing awe-inspiring nature imagery in photos and videos affects emotions and behavior. By way of example, in 1 research participants viewed a couple of minutes of the inspiring documentary Planet Earth, a neutral video by a news program, or humorous footage from Walk on the Wild Side. Watching a couple of minutes of Planet Earth-directed people to feel 46 percent more amazement and 31 percent more appreciation than those from the other types.
Positive emotions have beneficial effects upon social processes, also –like increasing trust, collaboration, and closeness with other people. Since seeing nature appears to trigger positive emotions, it follows that nature likely has favorable effects on our social well-being.
This has been robustly confirmed in studies on the benefits of residing near green spaces. Most importantly, the job of Frances Kuo and her coworkers finds that in poorer neighborhoods of Chicago individuals who live nearby green spaces–yards, parks, trees–reveal reductions in ADHD symptoms and increased calm, as well as a more profound sense of connection to neighbors, more civility, and not as much violence in their own neighborhoods. A later analysis confirmed that green spaces tend to have less crime.
How disposition helps our health
Besides boosting happiness, positive emotion, and kindness, vulnerability to nature may also have physical and psychological health benefits.
The benefits of character on health and well-being have been well-documented in different Asian and European cultures. While Kuo’s evidence indicates that a particular benefit for people from nature-deprived communities from the United States, the health and health benefits of immersion in character appear to generalize across a variety of ethnic and class backgrounds.
Why is nature so curing? One possibility is that using nature–by living near it or viewing it reduces stress. In a study by Catharine Ward Thompson and her colleagues, the men and women who lived near bigger areas of the green area reported less anxiety and showed greater reductions in cortisol levels over the course of this day.
In another study, participants who viewed a one-minute video of awesome nature rather than a video that made them feel the joyful reported feeling as though they had sufficient time “to do things” and did not feel that”their lifestyles were slipping away.” And studies have found that those who report feeling a good deal of awe and wonder and an awareness of the natural beauty around them actually reveal lower levels of a biomarker (IL-6) that could cause a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, depression, and autoimmune disorder.
Though the study is not as well-documented in this area as in others, the outcomes thus far are promising. 1 early research by Roger Ulrich found that patients recovered faster by the cardiovascular operation when they had a view of character out of a window, for instance.
Why We Are in Need of nature
Ll of these findings converge on a single decision: Being close to nature or viewing nature improves our well-being. The question remains…how?
There is absolutely no question that being in nature–or even viewing nature pictures–reduces the bodily signs of anxiety in our bodies. What this signifies is that we’re not as inclined to be anxious and fearful in nature, and thereby we could be open to others and also to innovative patterns of thought.
There’s also some evidence that exposure to character affects the brain. Viewing natural attractiveness (in the form of landscape paintings and movies, at least) activates particular reward circuits in the brain associated with dopamine release that gives us a sense of purpose and energy to pursue our goals.