Research has shown that our environment contributes upwards of 70% in the battle to reduce stress and reducing stress hormone levels in the body.
Studies show that spending time outdoors in the company of greenery and the natural world can reduce psychological stress and biophysical markers, i.e., cortisol levels. Which is important because the presence of chronic stress has been linked to a variety of illnesses including heart disease, obesity, anxiety and depression.
What type of outdoor environments have the most positive effect on human health? Scientists agree that areas that are relatively unchanged by human behaviors score the highest. Think open space and wilderness areas where people are only visiting in the short-term. Other areas include parks, gardens, greenspaces, open meadows, and waterfront regions.
No matter what the season, nature and natural environments improve your quality of life with fresh air, increased physical activity, mental / spiritual inspiration, and enhanced social connection when experienced with others.
What’s more, being outdoors taps into your innate attraction to the natural elements—earth, wind, water, fresh air and sun. You can evoke the calming, nourishing effects of nature simply by paying attention to your surroundings: a scent in the breeze, the wind in the trees, the crispness of the air, the delicate colors of foliage. By stimulating your mind, you can stimulate your emotions and enhance your wellbeing.