Living In Nature
Benefits of Living Close To Nature
Only a few centuries ago, when urbanization had still not made a mess of things, mankind knew only one way of leading life……Living in Nature & Loving Nature. Our ancestors lived under the open sky and carried out all activities on foot or horseback, in complete tandem with nature .
But, sadly , because of industrialization and modernization the present day man has not been able to continue with this. Still, however much we may deny , we all have in us an inherent urge to expose ourselves to the open environments.
Green spaces , forests, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys attract us in very much the same way as they did our forefathers. It’s a pity that so many of us actually can not take time out of our busy schedules to embrace the outdoors in any beneficial manner. Only the lucky ones who manage to step out, know well how incredibly rewarding this activity is.
So how is Nature so important to our health and happiness ?
In the past many years, scientists across the continents have conducted interesting research into the health benefits of living in nature.
The results of these studies show that taking a regular ‘dose ‘ of nature is scientifically helpful for the physical, mental emotional and psychological health of a person.
That leads us to the question : What exactly do we mean by living in , or close to , nature.? The answer is quite simple. We live in nature when we live :
- close to green spaces
- next to a forest
- on a wooded mountain slope
- go hiking , hunting , fishing, trekking, climbing, gliding, walking, jogging, running, horse riding etc.
- do yoga in a park
- practice meditation in the open ,or,
- walk on grass
This isn’t by any chance a complete list of the activities constituting Living in Nature. We could go on and on, depending on our own choices, and imagination.
Want to know what wonders can Nature do to our health if we make friends with her ?
Nature Boosts Our General Health
Most recent research on the subject reveals that spending time outside in green environment has a significant beneficial effect .Researchers found that people living in communities having green spaces, parks, walk able pavements etc. maintained a better overall health.
Nature Gives us a feeling of well-being
Human beings prefer natural settings over man -made landscape. More so when we are in need of rest and recreation. We desire to visit the outdoors ,laden with the gifts of nature. We crave to take a leisurely walk in a park or go trekking on a mountain trail. The experience of becoming a part of nature for sometime gives us a lasting feeling of well-being .
Nature Helps reduce symptoms of depression
Scientists are unanimous in their opinion that nature has a significant role in improving the symptoms of depression. Living in close vicinity of lots of trees or near a park and spending sometime in natural surroundings helps heal depression.
Nature contributes in alleviating stress
We all experience some level of stress. Long term stress can , however, result in giving us a variety of mental as well as physical disorders like anxiety, depression, high blood pressure etc.
Studies reveal that having easy access to green spaces gives us relief from stress and induces a feeling of self satisfaction in us.
Nature reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
A study of the University of East Anglia suggests that integrating nature with our lives goes a long way in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
According to the study results, exposure to green space has other health benefits also. It helps prevent premature death and pre-term birth.
Nature Absorbs our negativity
Nature proves to be our best friend when we need it to help us become positive in our lives. Studies by Ulrich, Kim & Carinka show that time in Nature or even watching scenes of nature brings us into a positive mind frame.
A general feeling of calmness descends and envelopes us and life turns to become meaningful and worth living. Also, our ability to pay attention increases and we feel capable of handling new tasks.
Nature Helps our heart stay healthy
Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide. A number of research studies have proved that exercising in natural , green surroundings is hugely beneficial for our heart health.
Taking a brisk walk or jogging in a man made park or any other greenspace serves the same purpose equally well. It helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow. It also aids in regulating heart rate.
Nature assists in weight control
Walking, jogging or bicycling in green settings are far more enjoyable than doing these aerobics in a room on machines.
We might have planned to exercise for half an hour but the very lure of the green space may often encourage us to go another mile and another day.
Studies show that exercising regularly for half hour for five days a week in outdoor settings is a great way of reducing weight and staying healthy.
Nature helps fight Add & Adhd
A University of Illinois study proves that children suffering from these disorders show improvement in symptoms after spending time outside in green environment.Their ability to concentrate increases significantly as a result of these trips to the green outdoors.
Researchers also believe that the degree of relief did these patients has got a lot to do with the greenness of the setting.
Nature encourages social engagement
Studies by Kuo & Coley reveal that spending time in Nature enables us to connect with each other more comfortably . Another study at a University suggests that residents living in places with trees and greenery around have a better sense of neighborhood.
They know more people and they support each other more willingly. They also have stronger feelings of belonging. Their ability to withstand stress is greater than those living in houses having no greenery of any sort nearby.
Yet another research on the subject shows that living close to nature lights up empathy & love in us by a good measure .
Living In Nature – Grounding
What is Grounding in the context of living in nature?
In simple terms, Grounding is the direct contact of skin with the surface of the earth. We may also call it Earthing . Walking barefoot on the ground is an easy way to do grounding.
Benefits of Grounding
A lot of research has gone into finding the benefits of direct contact with earth and the results have been more than positive.
Below are some of these benefits :
Reduces Post Injury Inflammation & Pain
When we connect our body to the earth we let electro neurons from the earth enter our body which act as an anti-inflammatory agents around the injury.
Resolves Chronic Inflammation
Likewise, electro neurons enter the body when it connects to the ground and work as antioxidants against the inflammation, resolving it rapidly.
Grounding the body during sleep produces changes in the circadian cortisol levels which in turn makes us sleep better.
Reduces Stress Levels
Grounding normalizes cortisol levels which help improve our body’s stress response , relieving us of undue stress.
Improves Blood Flow
Grounding helps blood circulation , allowing the oxygen and nutrients to reach the tissues of all parts of the body.
A study on the subject shows that earthing or grounding has pleasant & positive effects on the mood.
Reduces Risks Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Studies have suggested that direct contact with earth or grounding as we call it reduces blood viscosity. This, in turn, helps decrease the risks of diseases of the heart and arteries.
How Barefoot Walking Helps Grounding ?
Barefoot walking on earth, soil, sand or grass brings our body in direct contact with earth, resulting in grounding.
We can practice grounding by other methods also, but grounding by barefoot walking is the most natural, convenient of all. It is what man learnt to do tens of thousands of years ago. And it is what we should relearn to do. Walking without shoes on green space or a sandy soil is an extremely pleasant experience . Take it for granted.