Mental Health Benefits of Nature
Let Natural Beauty Recharge Your Soul
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | April 2017
Life overwhelms and we need escape by moving away from modern problems and enjoying the simple tranquility of nature.
There is an unwritten law that we instinctively follow. We attend to the business of living by fixating on problems. Healthy planning helps to avoid many tragedies while constructively building robust futures. However, in the feverish pace of living, we neglect the beauties of the present; the small actions not directly associated with success but that profoundly impact our futures. We need to make space in our hectic lives for calmness.
Nature cycles through cataclysmic storms and recovering moments of calmness when the winds stop, and the rains cease. The world takes a breath and recovers. For our mental, spiritual, and mental health, we also need rejuvenating breaks from our frenzied lives and recover with moments of tranquility.
"From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation."
Tranquility is a blessing of healthy living. Moments of serenity are difficult to enjoy when surrounded by impending calamities. Healthy planning helps reduce the anxieties; but what does a well-organized life offer, if we continually chase the storms without enjoying the fruits of our labors?
"What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working."
Louise Delagran, MA, MEd
Whatever our circumstances, we need planned recovery—moments to escape the demands of living. Nature provides a liberating break. A walk in the park or along the beach coupled with practiced mindfulness releases the strains of a tortured pace. Our bodies absorb the surrounding beauties. Our minds relax without the burdensome weight of anxiety, fear, and anger. We momentarily see the world through the clearness of loving kindness, compassion, and joy.
“There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human wellbeing.”
Lisa Nisbet, PhD
Occasional breaks from doing and planning creates a fertile state of mind that abundantly produces wisdom, security, and courage.
Breaks are not natural. We must schedule time to access this state of being; whether it’s a few quiet moments on the patio, a hike in the woods or along the beach, we experience the powerful blessings of an unstrained mind, recovering from the world while preparing for the future.
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American Psychological Association. (2020, April). Nurtured by nature. Monitor on Psychology, 51(3). Accessed 6-11-2021 http://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature