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How Can Nature be Healing? 

man enjoys nature during hike

We’ve all heard the mantra that Mother Nature is one of life’s greatest healers. If you thought this was just a nice platitude or a sentimental notion, you might be surprised to know that science is making great progress in proving this point. Most of us feel fantastic after being out and about in nature and researchers have increasingly turned their focus to unearthing (pun intended!) the ways in which the natural environment enhances our health and well-being. Study after study has demonstrated that nature has incredible powers of persuasion when it comes to mediating what ails us. A study conducted by American Scientist revealed that simply looking at inspirational natural scenes triggered more pleasure in the brain than viewing neutral images such as a blank wall. In contrast, the brain tends to perceive a congested street as stressful, causing negative reactions in the brain. For example, cortisol levels are increased, which in turn can impair memory, weaken the immune system, and increase blood pressure. High levels of cortisol have been implicated in problems such as regulating emotions, depression, and lack of appropriate inhibition. Significantly, elevated cortisol levels can also disrupt brain development in children. This all gives new meaning to the sentiment “what a view” that is often announced while outside in beautiful scenery. The relaxing effect the view of nature has on us is more than just calming, it has the power to decrease stress and therefore positively impact us mentally and physically.  Intriguing studies have also found that simple environmental elements also have the power to impact the workplace as it regards employee health. For example, studies have shown that adding greenery, and having open-air spaces for break times, can boost employee positivity. Underscoring this reality, a study conducted at the University of Oregon showed that almost 10% of employee absences were linked to an absence of nature, including alack of windows which provided views of the natural landscape. Even the simple act of bringing nature indoors has the power to create a better headspace for us. These examples of how Mother Nature has the power to heal the strains caused by stress in everyday life. If you can’t get outside to her, consider bringing her in. The connection to nature and the beauty of the world is accessible to us constantly, if only we take the time to enjoy all it offers. Get out in the open and grow.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you throughout your recovery journey. We can help you be a healthier version of yourself. Call us today at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you and help you today!