We are meant to spend time in nature. Being in nature exposes us to so many wonderful visually pleasing plants and animals, calming sounds, and healing smells. One specific smell is a result of phytoncides. ‘What are phytoncides?’ you may ask. These are the chemicals produced by evergreens and other plants. Walking through a forest is an automatic aromatherapy treatment that calms the nervous system, decreases the fight or flight reaction, and supports the immune system.
Key Benefits of Nature:
Induces Relaxation - increases parasympathetic nervous system activity
Builds Immunity - increases Immune activity by increasing natural killer cells
Reduces Stress - decreases stress hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline
Improves Mood - decreases anxiety, anger, depression, and fatigue
Calms the Heart - decreases blood pressure and heart rate
See the Science - scientific studies here and here
Tips for Connecting to Nature During Shelter-At-Home:
Go Outside in your Neighborhood
Depending on where you live, nature might be limited. But it is always there, somewhere, if you look. Look at the sky. Feel the wind or sun in your face. Listen to the birds. Find a tree, patch of grass, or anything growing and green.
Bring Nature Inside your Home
Get house plants. Trader Joe’s has great house plants at inexpensive prices!
You can also hang pictures of nature or a nature calendar in your house. Even just visual images of nature can have a positive effect on your body and health. Cool right?
Add Earthing to Your Routine
Get in direct contact with the earth. This means walking or standing barefoot or laying down on natural ground like sand, dirt or grass. Earthing or grounding, “stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being.” The effects have been seen to happen quickly and are quite profound.
Set your Screensavers to Nature Images
As mentioned above, just looking at images of nature affects your physiology in a healthy way too. So set your computer and TV screens to have beautiful nature images on them.
Being in nature or just looking at images of nature has powerful immune boosting and stress reducing effects. It is an important part of living a healthy life!
Get out and experience spring happening. And while you’re at it make a physical connection with Mother Earth - snuggle up in her beauty. She will make you feel better, naturally!