Research indicates that spending time in nature is connected to cognitive and mental health benefits, as well as improvements in mood and emotional well-being.
Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude. —Louie Schwartzberg
A few years back, I went for a Himalayan trek which completely changed by way to look at life, and coming back to the chaos of the city, I realized that it was difficult for me to confine myself in the office cubicle and the four walls of the home.
As I sat in front of the desktop for hours in the day, I often looked out to see the birds & the sky, the trees swaying by, and felt like breaking free.
Finally, I ended up quitting my 9-to-5 job to become a full-time nature-admirer & traveler and part-time blogger. Since then, there has been no looking back!
You must be wondering why I’m telling you this story about my life – well, that’s because I want you to feel and understand what magic nature can add to our lives.
A night under the starlit sky, a walk through the forest trails, a day of rafting on the rapids of the river, or diving down in the deep blue sea, sun-soaking by the beach and gazing at the scarlet sky – all these are priceless experiences that not just add happiness to our lives, but also leaves a long-lasting impact on our well-being.
- Let’s take a look at the benefits of spending time in nature and why it is important for all of us.
- 1. It improves our short term memory.
- 2. It helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
- 3. It boosts our creativity and increases our level of concentration.
- 4. It nurtures our sense of gratitude.
- 5. It helps in developing a deeper sense of spirituality.
- 6. It teaches us valuable lessons of resilience and perseverance.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of spending time in nature and why it is important for all of us.
1. It improves our short term memory.
Did you know that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore introduced the system of open schooling in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India, where he inspired teachers to take classes in the outdoors – under the trees?
It proved to be one of the best teaching methods, where the students could enjoy the fresh air, gaze at the sky while attending their classes. A research study has proved that being surrounded by plants & trees leave a deep impact on our brain and short-term memory is improved by 20% by walking in nature.
2. It helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing. As the pandemic brought the world to a standstill, all we could do was take a walk on the terrace or our porch or balcony.
And trust me when I say this, it turned out to be the best time of the day for me when I walked barefoot on the grass.
I could sense a calmness within myself. We can assign any name to it – forest bathing, ecotherapy, mindfulness in nature, green time, or the wilderness cure – but there’s no denial of the fact that being surrounded by nature helps in reducing our stress levels and anxiety issues.
3. It boosts our creativity and increases our level of concentration.
From the changing colors of the sky to the soothing fragrances of the flowers, from the sound of raindrops hitting the windows to the waves breaking by the shores – nature keeps our sense engaged and thus, boosts our creative cells in the most magnificent ways.
Spending time amidst nature gives us a chance to get inspired by all the gorgeous sights, smells, and sounds that surround us.
You must have heard that authors always seek a retreat in the countryside while writing their best pieces.
While our generation is mostly engaged in working online, with our eye stuck on the screen – try stepping out at times for breathing some fresh air. I’m sure you’ll feel refreshed and focus better on work.
4. It nurtures our sense of gratitude.
Being stuck in our otherwise busy life, we often forget to be grateful for the little things that we’re blessed with.
Imagine a winter morning when the sunshine turns out to be the best gift you can ever ask for! Or the first spells of the shower after a long dry summer!
That’s what nature does to us – it makes us feel grateful for how our surroundings change and keep adding joy to our lives.
Just like the sun that rises each morning without fail, I believe we must start our day afresh with renewed promises and new beginnings, and to make the best of what comes our way.
Undoubtedly, nature nurtures a sense of gratitude in us.
5. It helps in developing a deeper sense of spirituality.
Spirituality has got a lot to do with having a sense of peace and purpose in life, and when we’re out in the open, surrounded by nature, we sense a profoundness within ourselves.
A long walk in a park on your own gives a chance to clear the mind and can even count as a type of meditation that wouldn’t only heal your mind & body, but your soul too.
In case you can’t go for a walk, just spend sometime watering the plants in your balcony, look at them as if they are smiling at you too – and you’ll sense company around you.
Nature plays an important role in teaching us valuable lessons, by revealing certain metaphors to help us connect with our own spiritual self.
6. It teaches us valuable lessons of resilience and perseverance.
The more time we spend amidst nature, the more resilient we’d become. Pause and think, despite the harshest of climates all beings of nature stand strong, withstanding the cold, the storm, the rain. Yes, some of them do crumble, like the way we do at times.
But what’s incredibly beautiful is that even a tree that has been uprooted in the storm grows back into another tree slowly but surely, if some of the roots remain.
To put it in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Adopt the pace of nature, the secret is patience.”
Make it a habit to spend at least 10-15 minutes amidst nature, away from your phone and the chaos of life. Trust me, you’ll feel more connected to yourself.