Let us face the facts. We live in a world where we spend most of our time working or in the digital plane, browsing the internet, chatting, watching clips and movies, and so on. The older we get, it becomes increasingly rare for everyone to have the time to plan out a nice little trip outside the urban borders of the city, and actually spend quality time in nature. We sometimes even forget about the little pieces of greenery that we’ve got around us – parks.
Now, you are probably already aware of how spending time in nature is important for you in various ways. But, in case that it is simply no longer on your mind, and you have been neglecting all the amazing benefits, let us remind you, and hopefully drive you to plan a little trip in the near future.
For starters, spending time in a park, or even better, camping at a great spot outside the city, significantly impacts your brain. Simply being exposed to all of nature’s wonders stimulates the brain. Your prefrontal cortex which is responsible for your mind’s commands, can take a bit of a rest and revitalize.
Generally, spending a lot of time in natural surroundings makes people a lot more creative and productive once they return home. Your short-term memory improves, and your attention skills are boosted.
Just take into consideration what research has shown. Hospital patients, such as those who have had gallbladder surgery, recover much better and faster if they have a view of wonderful natural greenery from their windows, instead of just staring at brick walls. Taking a step further, and spending extended periods of time in forest bathing (which is known in Japan as shinrin-yoku) improves your heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
There is also the fact that was proven by Korean scientists – when people are more exposed to images of urban scenes instead of natural ones, the blood flow to the amygdala is greater. As a result, the brain reacts a lot more by expressing anxiety and fear. On the other hand, when looking at the images of forests and various natural wonders, the people who participated in the research had shown that the blood flows much more into the anterior cingulate instead, which is connected to empathy and compassion.
You should also know that spending time in nature boosts your immune system. What we are discussing here is the process of inflammation. It is pretty natural and happens when your body is open to various threats, like pathogens. The problem arises when inflammation goes too far, because this can result in various autoimmune diseases, and even, in the worst case scenario, cancer. When you spend time in nature, such risks are significantly decreased.
It is important to mention the effect of phytoncides (wood essential oils). They are produced by plants and are airborne, so you get the chance to breathe a lot of them during your forest hikes, camping, and alike.
If you really have the time, dedicate a weekend to camping– somewhere where it is only going to be you, possibly your friends or family, and the wonders of nature. Next to all the previously mentioned benefits, there are also many others. For starters, you get to have some time off, so that you can have a bit of your own peace and quiet. You can choose the kind of view that you want to wake up to in the morning and really enjoy yourself.
Camping is also really good for sleeping. Your biological clock gets reset, and you can solve all your sleeping problems, like insomnia. A lot of it is related to the fact that, instead of artificial light which we spend time next to a lot. When camping, you get the chance to adapt to the natural cycle of light and dark and immerse yourself into the health effects of natural light. Of course, you still know that you shouldn’t spend too much time in the sun, right?
Finally, camping provides you with a great sense of freedom, and a chance for everyone to learn new things, especially if you have children who can greatly benefit from this experience. Just make sure that you bring the proper camping gear because you don’t want something to go awry.
Spending time in nature is important in some many ways. Now that we have reminded you about some of them, make a plan to dedicate some time to spend it outdoors, basking in the sunlight, natural beauties, and the health effects of being around plants for extended periods. Let nature heal your body, boost your immune system, and have some fun and educational time camping with your family or friends.