Now that Spring is here and warmer weather is on it’s way, you may find yourself spending more time outdoors, taking walks, sitting outside, or starting your garden. Whatever you are doing outdoors, be sure to really take in the scenery. Nature is a natural stress reliever. Stress relief without a prescription, no side effects, and at a great price–free!
How Nature Helps
Studies show that there are many benefits to spending time outdoors. Unless you work outdoors, you likely spend the majority of your time inside. No matter how beautiful our homes are, they are largely artificial spaces, far removed from Nature. Not that we should have trees growing in our bedrooms or butterflies in our kitchens. Home is meant to be our safe haven: climate controlled, protected from weather, and the place where we rest, play, care for our families, and entertain friends.
We have come a long way from living in caves. But the problem with how we live now is that we are far removed from nature. One of the reasons we like sitting around the fire, tending our gardens, taking walks, and playing sports is that we actually need to be outdoors. Think about how good it feels to feel the Spring sunshine on your face when you step outside. Countless studies demonstrate the benefits of sunlight on mood. Other positive effects are it lowers blood pressure, improves the quality of sleep, and elevates Vitamin D levels, which in turn, reduces inflammation. Being around greenery, fresh air, and blue skies is psychologically uplifting–allergy sufferers won’t always find this to be the case–especially in Spring and Autumn when Nature is not a friendly place for them.
So What About Allergy Sufferers
How do they benefit from Nature? Or people who don’t like warm weather? Those who don’t like warm weather have the cooler seasons to enjoy in whatever way they find enjoyable. Some of those with allergies have an easier time outside when the pollen counts and other natural irritants have calmed down. One of the things that matters perhaps even more than being with Nature, is being with others–friends, loved ones, companion animals. Human beings have an intrinsic need to connect with others. For those who cannot go outdoors, observing Nature from inside, in the company of others has a positive effect upon stress levels
What About Stress?
Stress is a natural part of life. It is not that we shouldn’t experience it, it is unavoidable. There are several things we can do to moderate its effects on our health and well being. Spending time in Nature, being with friends, eating a healthier diet, and moving around, whether it be walking, exercising, yoga, all of those activities help with stress management. Basically, it is self care. Living with companion animals, meditation, spiritual practices (if you have a religion or spiritual beliefs), and learning when you need to to take a break are also important to help offset the effects of stress.
Stress management also means increasing your awareness of your self talk, learning when to say no, and paying as much attention to your mental health as you might your physical health. If you aren’t paying attention to your physical health, then it is important to start now. Stress affects us mentally and physically. The mind-body connection is strong, so that what affects us emotionally, triggers biochemical changes in the body.
If you would like to learn how to better implement stress management techniques in your life, or if you are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and burned out, please give us a call or send an email to learn how we may best help you feel better. To schedule an appointment, click on the Book Now button.
For more info see here: Stress Management
The NIH has a nice article on Stress and Resilience: 7 Steps to Build Stress and Resilience