Benefits of Time Spent in Nature
The study of how nature effects the brain is a hot topic right now.
There’s a lot of preliminary evidence to suggest that time spent outside can positively effect our mood and health!
On a personal level, I’ve found this to be true.
I recently got home from an epic road trip through Arizona. I started the trip with major anxiety. By the end of the 11 days of camping and hiking, I seriously felt more relaxed and calm than I have in the past year.
But as it turns out, it’s actually quite a challenge to study the effects of nature on the brain.
There are a lot of confounding variables.
For example, if we tried to research weather spending time in a national park leads to lowered anxiety, time in a national park is your independent variable and lowered anxiety is your dependent variable.
Confounding variables are any other variable that also effects your dependent variable.
In this example, that would be something like a lack of urban-ness. Would we have the same results if we did our experiment in a city park? What if we just showed the participants photos of a national park?
These are all questions that need to be answered before we can draw solid conclusions.
Why do I mention all of this here? Because the videos below is largely based on my personal experience and thoughts about the power of nature.
While I do mention some studies in these videos, they really just highlight the potential for further research!
I suspect that in the coming years we’ll start hear more and more research about the positive benefits of time spent outside, but for right now, I’ll leave you with some of my thoughts and reasons to go outside this Summer!
Atchley RA, Strayer DL, Atchley P (2012) Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings. PLoS ONE 7(12): e51474. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0051474
The Nature Fix by Florence Williams (great book!)
What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced outdoors?
What is holding you back from getting outside more?
Chat with me in the comments below! 👇