Studies have shown that different environments can heighten or lower our stress levels, affecting our bodies. Whatever you are hearing, seeing, or encountering at any given time is altering not only your behavior but also how your immune, nervous, and endocrine systems are operating.
The stress level of an unfavorable environment may result in you feeling sad, worried, helpless, or anxious. This will, in turn, increase your heart rate, muscle tension, blood pressure and will ultimately overwhelm your immune system. Obviously, a favorable environment opposes that. Regardless of culture, age, or habits, human beings almost always feel relaxed and pleased when they are in one with nature. In a study featured in the Healing Gardens, experts discovered that there are nearly two-thirds of individuals opt to stay in a natural setting to relax when they are anxious or stressed.
Nature has been proven to help deal with pain. Because we are built to find plants, water, trees, and other nature type elements fascinating, we are immersed by nature settings and tend to forget our pain and sadness.
This is effectively portrayed in a previous trial of patients that underwent surgery of the gallbladder. Half of them had a beautiful view of plants and trees, and the other half were told to look at a black wall. As reported by a physician who performed the trial, the patients who had a view of the trees endured the pain they felt much better, and they appeared to have fewer unpleasant effects according to the nurses that tended to them. They also spent less time in the hospital. More current studies have revealed similar outcomes with settings from plants and other forms of nature in hospital rooms.
When you are in nature, such as in a beach or a river, or just viewing sceneries of nature, you somehow feel your anger, stress, and fear diminishing, and your positive feelings increasing. Being with nature not only induces positive emotions but also improves physical well-being, subsequently reducing heart rates, muscle tension, and blood pressure. It could even possibly decrease mortality, according to experts in the area of public health. Furthermore, research performed in offices, schools, and hospitals has shown that even a small plant placed in a space can substantially affect anxiety and stress.
Among the most exciting aspects of current research is the effect of nature on one’s general wellness. In the latest studies, about 95% of individuals interviewed stated that their moods improved after spending ample time outdoors, changing from stress, nervous, anxious, and depressed, to more soothed and relaxed. Other studies by known experts revealed that time with nature or sceneries is linked to positive behavior, revived energy, meaningfulness, and psychological wellness.
Additionally, quality time with nature or being in nature sceneries surges one’s ability to focus and be more aware. Because human beings find nature to be essentially captivating, we can typically focus on what we feel when we are in nature. This also gives our hyperactive minds a break, rejuvenating us for new chores and activities.
In another exciting area, research done on children with hyperactivity disorder revealed that their time spent in nature increased their attention span after a few hours.
According to a range of field trials performed by people at the Human-Environment Research Lab, sufficient time spent in sceneries of nature unites us and the bigger world. Another study done at the Illinois University revealed that people living in Chicago housing and were surrounded by trees and other greeneries reported having stronger camaraderie and unity with their neighbors and had a greater sense of community. There was also a relatively decreased risk of street crimes, violence, and hostility between their partners. Finally, they were more capable of dealing with life’s challenges, particularly the difficulties of living below the poverty line.
This experience of bonding may be clarified by studies that utilized fMRI to gauge brain activity. When the participants watched nature sceneries, the portions of the brain linked to love and compassion lit up. However, when they viewed urban scenes, the portions of the brain that were linked to anxiety and stress were stimulated. It seems like nature activates emotions that unite us to each other and our surroundings.
Warning On Too Much Screen Time
When we watch too much television or spend too many hours on our smartphones, we are technically deprived of nature, which is unsurprisingly linked to depressive symptoms. What was more, unforeseen were several studies by experts that connected screen time with a lack of compassion and genuineness. And the hazards are even greater than isolation and depression. In a 2011 study that was issued by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, time spent in front of the screen – whether it was phone or television – was associated with greater threats of death, which was found to be independent of vigorous physical activity.