Nature makes people happy, but did you know that the average American spends 93% of their life indoors?
It’s actually one of the reasons we get sicker in the colder months–because we aren’t outside often enough and our homes become incubators for germs. Seriously–the pollutants in our homes are 2-5 times and even sometimes 100 times higher than outdoors (source).
So how do you know if you’re spending too much time inside? For starters, how much time do you spend outside? If it’s less than 20 minutes a day, then you may be spending too much time inside. Frequent sickness, moodiness, anxiety, restlessness, muscle weakness, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, and fatigue are all signs of spending too much time indoors as well. Who knew?
Science knows, I guess. If you haven’t heard of forest therapy, it significantly reduces your stress levels and increases your overall wellness. Just by being outside you can reduce fatigue, anxiousness, depression, lower your blood pressure. It’s magic really. (source).
The Science behind why nature makes us happy
Inside our homes, the air becomes stagnant and is charged with positive ions, which actually affect our bodies negatively; and lead to increased risk of allergies, depression, anxiety, and illness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But out in nature, the movement of air, water, sunlight, various particles, and water transforms into negative ions which in turn produce positive vibes 😘✌🏼♥️🌼 but really. Mountains, other areas with lots of trees, beaches, and waterfalls all have the highest concentrations of negative ions. Waterfalls have as many as 30,000-100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter… compared to, at the very most, 300 negative ions in your car or an office, or the 2-4 thousand in the country air. There will even be a high concentration of negative ions after a heavy rainstorm–which is interesting because storms always make me feel alive and I like to go stand in them until the risk of getting struck by lightning is too much. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Basically, when negative ions enter your bloodstream, they increase serotonin levels which elevate your mood, balance stress, boost energy, and reduce depression. Nature makes people happy. Nature is healing energy.
Incorporate nature into your schedule! Even if you can’t get out for twenty minutes every day, you can spend longer chunks of time outside a few days a week–basically, you want to aim for 2.5 hrs a week outside.
Instead of reinventing the list, REI has one with 95 ways you can spend more time outdoors here.
What is your favorite way to spend time outside? Share here in the comment or on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @whereshegrows
Six easy ways to connect with nature
- explore a park // find a new trail or go to your favorite and see if you can find anything new.
- let the sun kiss your skin // our bodies need the sun; it helps us make Vitamin D, helps us sleep better, and the sun can even help us fight off certain illnesses.
- observe a nature // find a nature thing and observe it. Maybe you come in close contact with a bunny—observe it. Maybe get brave and say hello. Or don’t. Look at the texture of a tree, etc.
- walk barefoot on the grass // and watch out for dog poop. But really, if you don’t know by now, grounding connects us to the earth which is full of negative ions that give us “positive vibes”.
- hug a tree // then take a selfie and tag me plz 😉 This is a really good way to ground yourself if you’re not somewhere you can take off your shoes.
- adopt a plant // bring nature home with you. If you’re afraid of killing it, try a snake plant or pothos. They’re basically indestructible.
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