I’ve noticed recently that every time I head out for a hike or a camping trip, I feel incredibly relaxed. Even if I’m doing something physically exerting, I still feel a sense of relaxation and that ‘everything is okay’. Weird? Yes, I know. But apparently I’m not the only one.
Recent scientific studies have shown that mother nature has a way of soothing us in ways that go beyond our understanding, well at least until now. Here’s a list that’ll prove to you all that I’m in fact, not crazy. In Nature. Without Technology. Being in nature allows us to unplug from all of our stress-inducing electronics. Goodbye Stress Hormones. Studies have shown that activities in nature such as gardening have proven to be more relaxing than other calming activities. Better Breathing. Being outdoors encourages slow and controlled breathing. Short and troubled breathing (such as the kind that we engage in on a daily basis) has been shown to mimic the “fight or flight” response, which as you may know is quite stressful.
Physical Exertion Produces Endorphins. The “endorphin rush” your fellow gym mates have been ranting and raving about comes from physical exertion. The production of these neurotransmitters can be achieved just as well in the great outdoors. More Oxygen = Happier and Healthier. Higher levels of oxygen have been proven to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain. Since serotonin directly affects certain aspects of our well-being such as appetite, behavior, and mood, more serotonin can positively affect our well-being.