How Living Close to Nature Makes Us Happier

Nature's Way

How Does Nature Impact Our Health and Wellness?

Research shows that our environment can greatly affect our stress levels. This has a huge impact on our bodies and minds. The things you see, hear, feel, touch, smell etc. not only affect your mood, but how your internal systems are working.

External stress can immediately cause negative feelings. This can spike your blood pressure, heart rate, and tension. 

However, pleasing environments reverse that almost instantly.

It’s no secret that we find the beauty and awe of nature pleasurable. Healing Gardens, a book on this very subject, states that more than two out of three people choose nature when they are stressed.  

Nature Can Heal

Mother Nature reduces anger, fear, and stress. Exposure to natural settings makes you feel better emotionally, reducing blood pressure, tension, heart rate, and stress hormones. Stamatakis and Mitchell, scientists in the field, say it even increases mortality.

Even a simple plant can have a significant impact on the people in the room!

Nature Is Less Painful

Coping with pain is easier in nature. Our genes are programmed to allow us to find comfort in nature, distracting us from more painful aspects of our lives. 

Robert Ulrich conducted a study where hospital patients with a view of trees tolerated pain better, as well as appeared to heal more quickly. 

Nature Directly Impacts Us

Mind magazine did a study where 95% of people surveyed reported a boost in mood, less stress, anxiety, and overthinking when exposed to a natural scene. A positive mood goes a long way in impacting our overall health and happiness. Nature can also increase our focus since we find natural scenes interesting and they hold our attention.

Nature Unites

Time in nature connects us to others and the world in a study done by Kuo and Coley at the Human-Environment Research Lab. Right here in our home state at the University of Illinois, a study was done in Chicago public housing. People who had trees and green spaces near their building reported a stronger sense of connection to the community and their neighbors.

“When participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up, but when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated. It appears as though nature inspires feelings that connect us to each other and our environment.”

  • Research courtesy of the University of Minnesota

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