Research shows that the environment can increase or decrease our stress, which then affects our lives. Anything we hear, see, and experience at any moment is changing not only our mood, but how our nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working. The stress of an unpleasant environment can make you feel anxious, sad, or perhaps powerless. And regardless of age and culture, people find nature pleasing. Researchers also found that more than two-thirds of people choose a natural environment from which they can escape out when stressed. Thus when your specialist recommends you to go outdoors, heed his/her advice. Here’s why.
Being in nature, or even watching wilderness scenes, reduces anger, nervousness, and anxiety and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
Besides, nature also helps us to deal with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to recognize plants, water, trees, and other personality elements that fascinate us, we are absorbed into the characters’ scenes and distracted by pain and grief.
One of the most interesting areas of current research is the effects of nature on general well-being. Studies show that time spent in nature changes the mood from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. Also, time spent with nature or viewing nature scenes increases our ability to pay attention. Because humans find nature interesting, we can naturally focus on what we are experiencing out in mood. It also provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks.
A study by the University of Illinois suggests that people in Chicago, low-income housing that had trees and green spaces in their facility reported that they knew more people, had a greater sense of unity with those they knew, helped and encouraged each other, even with a greater understanding of belonging than the tenants of tree-filled buildings.