One of my favourite activities: feeding squirrels!
3 scientific reasons why being in nature is relaxing (there are a lot more but there is no space😉):
1.Nature helps us to center our minds -
Multi-tasking, particularly with electronic devices, is a leading cause of stress. A study found that people received a steady stream of messages throughout the day had higher heart rates than those who were cut off from electronic communication. Leaving your devices behind and heading out into nature can be calming for more metaphysical reasons. A natural environment allows people to leave the stressors of their everyday lives behind and instead focus their minds on something more pure. By centering our mind, we can relax our bodies.
2. It lowers stress hormone levels-
A recent Dutch study suggests that spending time in nature and performing repetitive tasks such as gardening can fight stress better than other leisure activities. One group of people was asked to read indoors after completing a stressful task while the other group was instructed to garden for 30 minutes. The gardeners not only reported being in a better mood than the readers, but also had lower levels of the stress hormone Cortisol.
3. Breathing is our body's built-in stress buster -
Research shows that breathing techniques have the ability to dampen the production of stress hormones as well as train your body's reaction to stressful situations. Rapid breathing engages our bodies' sympathetic nervous system (our "fight or flight" response), which is activated by stress and works to energize the body. Slow, deep breathing—the kind encouraged by the great outdoors—stimulates the body's parasympathetic reaction, which calms us down. By stopping to smell the roses, we can put the brake on our bodies' natural stress response and chill out a bit.
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