The power of nature to improve your physical and emotional wellbeing

We know all that nature has the power to uplift us, right? No-one ever regrets going on a hike in nature or sitting outside to watch a beautiful sunset.

But do you know about the incredible scientific effects it has on our wellbeing as a whole?

We did a little bit of digging (our favourite activity 😉) into some recent studies, and it appears nature really is very healing for our mind, body and emotions.

🌲 Roger Ulrich, a researcher at the University of Delaware, found a hospital ward where patients had recovered from gallbladder surgery in identical rooms - one that overlooked either a small stand of deciduous trees or one that looked out onto a brick wall. 

After going through nearly ten years’ worth of ward records, Ulrich found that patients with a view of the trees fared far better than the miserable patients with nothing but a wall to look at, even if their cases were identical. 

Those with a lovely view of the trees took fewer painkillers, were rated by their nurses as being in better spirits, and, on average, left the hospital nearly a day earlier than those without a view. 

(Source: Outside Online)

🌼 Over 100 research studies have discovered the mental health benefits of getting out into nature.

These include:

  • Low exposure to nature in childhood correlates with worse mental health in adulthood 
  • Humans have a basic psychological need to be in nature 
  • Emotional impacts of environmental decline 

(Source: Children and nature network)

🌱 One study aimed to find out if discreetly altering the environment of an entire city by changing the quality of open and green spaces resulted in a detectable shift in residents’ safety, criminal behavior, and mental health.

The results were surprising.

They found that residents of neighborhoods where spaces had been ‘greened’  were much healthier psychologically than those whose lots had merely been cleaned. 

Around greened space, neighborhood-level rates of feeling “depressed” dropped by 42 percent, feeling “worthless” dropped by 51 percent, and having generally “poor mental health” dropped by 63 percent.

(Source: Jama Network)

🌳 Did you know ‘forest bathing’ is a thing in Japan? This is all about spending time in nature as a way to recharge the mind and body, and calm the emotions.

Studies found that humans have marked physiological differences after being in nature. 

These include:

  • lower concentrations of cortisol
  • lower pulse rate
  • lower blood pressure
  • greater parasympathetic nerve activity
  • lower sympathetic nerve activity than city environments. 

(Source: NCBI)

The human-nature connection

From the overwhelming amount of evidence, it seems like we need nature just as much as we need air, food, water, and human connection.

Surrounding yourself with nature contributes to better mental health, calmer physical wellbeing, and elevated mood.

All of us here at Lazy Flora have a love for plants, flowers, and the great outdoors. We really feel the benefits of being recharged by nature, whether that’s just the pleasing effects of our houseplants, digging in the garden, or going out for a walk in the woods.

Have you got your dose of nature today?

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