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Healthy Living

Connecting With Nature to Boost Your Health

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How does nature benefit our health? Exposure to the outdoors makes one feel better in both mind and spirit; the serenity of the natural environment creates within us a sense of calmness and aids our physical well-being. The scientific reason behind this is humans are genetically programmed to look for trees, plants, water and other natural elements.

When our body is absorbed and focused on nature's greatness, our mind puts aside any pain or discomfort temporarily. So the big question is: Where’s nature? How do we get access to it? For those people who live in urban settings with a rather hurried and busy lifestyle, there are also ways to catch a sight of nature by simply looking at some paintings or images of the wild. It might be surprising to you that viewing still images can help. In addition to still images, simple plants in a room also bring much positive change to our health.

Interestingly, even a brisk moment of viewing greenery can be an instant refreshment for our minds. According to another experiment conducted by Scottish scientists, even just a few minutes in the open air in a green space can lower one’s stress levels and make one feel much more relaxed and clear-headed. Research has shown that buildings with more vegetation around them had 52% less property and violent crimes than those without any vegetation.

In fact, scientific research has shown that tree-hugging can be truly health-enhancing. It can calm the body and boost our mood by prompting the release of the hormones serotonin and dopamine, thus making one feel much happier.

Another interesting and effective way to connect with nature is to walk barefoot on grass, sand or soil, which is known as grounding. The scientific reason behind the positive effects is that the Earth’s surface has a subtle negative charge and is constantly generating electrons that can neutralize free radicals, thus acting as antioxidants to help our body to prevent cell damage. For the elderly, being outside can improve memory. If we work or walk in sunlight, we become healthier by replenishing ourselves with vitamin D.

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