Only 2 hours for good health, brain function & a sense of well-being

In a study of 20,000 people, it was determined that it takes precisely 120 minutes a week spent in nature before people report feeling healthy with a strong sense of psychological well-being. Ecopsychology is the study of the emotional bond between humans and the earth. It is the synthesis of ecology, psychology and sustainability. Growing research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing.

These studies have demonstrated that time spent safely in natural environments, green spaces, and parks, can lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels, reduce nervous system arousal, enhance immune system function, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Attention, mood, and calm improves in natural environments, which also help speed the rate of healing. Stress reduction is foundational for good health.

Nature is everywhere! Parks, hikes, camping spots, nature habitats, even your yard! Oftentimes, nature can be discouraging, especially if you don’t know how to get involved with nature and have fun while doing so! Read on for 5 ways to experience nature, no experience needed!

1. Take up gardening, right in your front or back yard! This is especially fun if you involve your children! Start your garden from seeds or visit a local home supply store to get some mini seedling starter plants. Depending on your planting zone, there are great things to grow in your garden. This will change seasonally but should remain pretty mainstream most of the year! Get a little dirty and get some sunshine. Gardening at home is the most convenient project to start that will make you a nature expert in no time!

2. Take a hike with a group of friends! The best times spent are in groups, so why not venture into the mountains or hills and valleys of your local area? Start early in the morning, and make sure to bring a good amount of water and light snacks. Hiking while dehydrated can be dangerous. Always be sure to hike with at least one other person, preferably 2 or more additional hikers. A first aid kit is also important! Your hike will surely be seamless and fun!

3. Invite the family for campout fun! Recreational parks, beaches, and several state parks have campsites already fit for the perfect camping experience! Camp near a lake for summertime fun, take a swim at the end of the day’s hike, and enjoy a barbecue after the long day! You and your family will surely have a wonderful time! Just remember, park rangers are available to assist in anything that may arise!

4. Take a walk, sit under a tree, and absorb the fresh air around you! That’s right, exploring nature doesn’t have to be a big adventure. Soak in the colors of the sunset, the sound of the waves, maybe it’s the sound of children playing in the background. Nature is beautiful and is right at your fingertips!

5. Take up an outdoor hobby! Whether that is collecting sea glass on the ocean shores, joining a biking or running group, taking outdoor photography, or simply learning about the plants that are local to your area, any outdoor hobby will certainly expose you to experiencing more nature while doing something you love!

Live a happier and healthier life with less anxiety by exposing yourself to nature. Turn off the evening news and go for a walk to get fresh air. Plan a weekend of fun for July 4th weekend or an outdoor birthday party! Exploring nature isn’t so scary after all! Widen your horizon and step out of your comfort zone! You’ll be an expert and nature navigator in no time, living a life of peace and tranquility!  

References:
https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecopsychology


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