How Connection with Nature Can Foster Healing
Nature has the capacity to inspire. But the benefits go way past inspiration alone. In fact, overwhelming evidence in scientific literature supports that nature exposure improves both physiological and psychological human health. Humans who get more nature exposure not only live longer, but are also healthier, with less obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and physical distress (just to name a few of the benefits).
How Does it Work?
Exposure to nature has been shown to lower concentrations of the primary stress hormone cortisol, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and decrease sympathetic nerve activity (the fight-or-flight response), while also increasing parasympathetic activity (the rest-and-digest response). And, lucky for us, a recent study shows that exposure to greenspaces also reduces pain. Although the exact mechanism is not yet clear, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make a point to get out into nature as part of our healing path.