Research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working. The stress of an unpleasant environment or surroundings can cause you to feel anxious, sad or helpless.
Nature heals, soothes and restores.
Being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature reduces anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Research done in hospitals, offices and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
Time spent in nature is when I can feel a connection to all living things and the larger world. The sight of animals shows me that I have a place in this world amongst all living things. The sight and smell of trees, the overgrowth of greenery also connects me to the earth. When climbing mountains with majestic heights it reminds me that there is something higher and greater than myself. The ocean, too, can produce soothing sights, smells and sounds.
So whether walking through the woods, climbing the mountains of Peru or walking on along the Jersey Shore – all can give a sense of peace during troubling and uncertain times.
Check out this 90 second Resiliency video on Nature & Environmental De-Stress:
For more wellness tips, please check out Rutgers UBHC’s Resiliency Video series: