Why do I love the wilderness? I find it almost impossible to define; the feeling of being in the forest with nothing but the sound of wind drifting through the treetops and birds singing makes me smile. It just feels good!
Looking deeper, I found the internet is littered with studies and positive affirmations all saying the same thing:
Being outdoors has a positive effect on our wellbeing and happiness.
This list was compiled from research done by Business Insider.
The outdoors can;
- Improved short-term memory
- Restored mental energy
- Stress relief
- Reduced inflammation
- Better vision
- Improved concentration
- Sharper thinking and creativity
- Possible anti-cancer effects
- Immune system boost
- Improved mental health
- Reduced risk of early death
Anxiety, depression, hypertension and other mental health issues may all be eased by some time in the great outdoors – especially when combined with exercise.
Reading further into these studies I found another gem. “Doses of nature might serve as a safe, inexpensive, widely accessible new tool for managing ADHD symptoms” researchers wrote.
A 2010 review of research noted, “all of these findings strongly suggest that forest environments have beneficial effects on human immune function and may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins.”
Another study found that people immersed in nature for four days, boosted their performance on a creative problem-solving test by 50%!
Similar studies on depressed individuals also found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.
One study found that people’s mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect). Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.
What does all this really mean?
I think it’s clear to say whether it be a walk in the woods or adventurous holiday, being in the outdoors is good for the mind body and soul and leads to having longer and healthier lives.
The best bit is…
The outdoors is never too far away and it’s absolutely free!!!!