Today we explore the topic of nature and how it benefits our mental health and assists in healthy development.

Check out The Nature Fix by Florence Williams if you’re interested in this topic.

 

  • Being outside releases stress, improves creativity, thinking skills, short term memory, concentration, and vision.
  • Many children in America today do not feel connected to the outdoors because of the time they spend inside on technological devices. They get tired easily and don;’t find being outdoors enjoyable. When children use too much technology at a young age, there senses can get confused. They see things in 2D, and are not able to touch, feel, or taste them. Being outside is crucial for healthy development because it stimulates all of our senses.
  • Noise affects us even if we don’t realize it. IT creates a stress response in our nervous system which over time can lead to hypertension. Students going to school near dense areas and near airports have decreased reading scores, comprehension skills, memory, and increased hyperactivity.
  • Studies show that images and sounds of cities increase heart rates, while sounds and images of nature decrease it.
  • Scotland is implementing a program called Branching Out to provide mental health care outdoors. The science-based concept is that three hours per week for 12 weeks in a Woodland program can reduce symptoms of depression and increase sociability, physical exercise and self-esteem. Imagine if we did this in America!
  • Walking is meditative. James watt inventor of the steam engine, and Nikola Tesla, who invented a revolutionary engine,  both attributed walking to the creation of their  inventions.

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