By Nikki Harper
Staff Writer for Wake Up World
In our fast-paced, urbanized world, we often find ourselves disconnected from the natural world. Yet, the evidence is clear: nature has a profound impact on our well-being. In the enlightening book “Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality,” authors Eva M. Selhub and Alan C. Logan explore the intricate relationship between nature and human health. Join us on a journey to discover how reconnecting with nature can transform your life.
The Stress-Reducing Magic of Nature
“The natural environment has an incredible ability to reduce stress,” says the book. Our modern lives are fraught with stressors, from work deadlines to endless screens. Nature offers respite from this chaos. When we immerse ourselves in natural settings, our bodies respond positively. Studies reveal that spending time in nature reduces cortisol levels, the stress hormone, and increases the production of calming neurotransmitters.
Incorporating nature into your daily routine can be as simple as taking a stroll in the local park or dedicating a few minutes to a garden meditation. Selhub and Logan remind us that “nature’s tranquility is readily available to those who seek it.”
Nature’s Impact on Mental Health
Mental health is a growing concern in our society, and nature has a vital role to play in its improvement. The authors delve into how nature can alleviate conditions like depression and anxiety. They explain, “Nature offers a sanctuary for the mind.” Gardening, in particular, has been shown to have therapeutic benefits. Engaging with plants and soil promotes a sense of accomplishment and reduces symptoms of mood disorders.
Moreover, ecotherapy, a form of treatment that involves outdoor activities, has gained popularity. It’s a testament to nature’s healing power. The book highlights the case of ecotherapy, stating, “Therapists are increasingly prescribing time in nature to alleviate psychological distress.”
Boosting Cognitive Function
If you’ve ever felt mentally drained, stepping into nature might be the solution. Nature enhances cognitive function, sharpening our focus, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. The authors elaborate, “Nature’s diversity stimulates the brain, fostering innovation.”
When you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, take a break and go for a walk in the woods or by the sea. This simple act can awaken your creativity and help you approach challenges with a fresh perspective.
Nature’s Impact on Physical Health
Nature’s influence isn’t limited to mental health. It also extends to our physical well-being. Spending time in green environments boosts immune function, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Nature’s ability to improve physical health is a testament to its holistic benefits.
As the book states, “Green spaces are not merely aesthetic; they are medicine for the body.” So, consider swapping your gym session for an outdoor adventure or a jog in a nearby park to reap these health benefits.
Nurturing the Human-Nature Connection
In our urban lives, it’s easy to forget our innate connection to nature. However, Selhub and Logan argue that fostering this connection is essential for our well-being. They emphasize, “A strong connection with nature can provide a sense of purpose and happiness.”
To reconnect with nature, consider these practical steps:
- Spend more time outdoors, whether hiking, camping, or simply taking a leisurely stroll.
- Create a green space in your home or office with indoor plants.
- Practice mindfulness in natural settings, savoring the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors.
- Volunteer for conservation efforts in your community.
Biophilia: Our Innate Affinity for Nature
Selhub and Logan introduce us to the concept of biophilia, the idea that humans have an intrinsic love for nature. This concept is deeply ingrained in our culture and traditions. Indigenous societies have long recognized the importance of living in harmony with nature, and it’s time we do the same.
The book states, “Biophilia reminds us that our connection to nature is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for our well-being.” Embracing this concept can transform the way we live, work, and relate to the world around us.
Practical Applications for a Nature-Infused Life
Bringing nature into your daily life is easier than you might think. The book offers practical advice on how to do so:
- Schedule regular outings to natural settings, whether it’s a park, forest, or beach.
- Incorporate greenery into your home and workspace with potted plants.
- Take up outdoor hobbies like hiking, birdwatching, or gardening.
- Swap screen time for nature time, even if it’s just a few minutes in your backyard.
“Your Brain On Nature” by Eva M. Selhub and Alan C. Logan is a wake-up call to the transformative power of nature on our health, happiness, and vitality. As we navigate the demands of modern life, let us not forget our profound connection to the natural world. Reconnecting with nature is not a luxury; it’s an essential step toward a healthier, happier, and more vibrant life.
Incorporating nature into your daily routine doesn’t require a grand gesture. Start with small steps, like a morning walk in the park or cultivating a few plants in your home. Remember the words of Selhub and Logan, “Nature’s embrace is always waiting; all we need to do is reach out and embrace it in return.”
- Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature’s Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality by
About the author:
Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and editor for Wake Up World. She writes about divination, astrology, mediumship and spirituality at Questionology: Astrology and Divination For the Modern World where you can also find out more about her work as a freelance astrologer and her mind-body-spirit writing and editing services. Nikki also runs a spiritualist centre in North Lincs, UK, hosting weekly mediumship demonstrations and a wide range of spiritual development courses and workshops.