So many people spend most of their time looking at a screen, even though scientists find that spending time outdoors leads to decreased stress levels, better moods and less risk of mental health issues. You can enjoy your time outdoors in any number of ways and reap the benefits. Keep reading for additional information on the benefits of spending time in nature.
Improved Cognitive Function
Exposure to greenery may improve people’s cognitive function. Specifically, some evidence shows that schools with green spaces can help to increase children’s ability to function cognitively. Further, the same research showed that children who live near green spaces present a higher level of self-control.
There are several theories as to why these findings hold true, but it seems that the reality may be a combination of factors. Two main theories are the stress-reduction theory and the attention restoration theory. The stress-reduction theory posits that time spent in nature elicits a physiological response that in turn decreases stress levels. The attention restoration theory submits that nature rejuvenates a person’s cognitive battery thereby replenishing their concentration and attention span.
In reality, it seems that increased cognitive function is likely a result of all of the theories presented. This is evident when you spend just a few moments after your midday slump taking a walk outdoors and instantly feel refreshed and ready to finish out the day. David Geithner MBA understands the benefits of nature and has explored the topic in his own writing.
Increased Levels of Happiness
Some of the benefits of spending time outdoors simply cannot be measured scientifically. The carefree feeling that many people experience while spending time outside perhaps on a hike is not easily explained through science. Although there is currently no definitive answer as to why human beings feel generally happier when they are exposed to green spaces, there is evidence to suggest that overall they have better social interactions and fewer mental health issues than people who are not.
Another thought as to why people who spend time in nature generally seem happier than those who do not is that they feel a connection to something larger than just themselves. Nature’s beauty can often leave its admirers in awe, and that sense of awe can leave you feeling more generosity toward your fellow human beings.
Different Outdoor Spaces
It is clear that spending time outdoors is good for people, but determining which type of outdoor space is best has proven a bit more difficult. More research has been conducted on the impact of green spaces on human well-being, but some studies have also found a positive correlation between well-being and blue spaces. Blue space is an outdoor place with views of the water, be it an ocean, lake or river.
Although scientists have not been able to definitively say why people’s lives are improved with time outdoors, they can state that time outdoors appears to improve quality of life. So, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and go out and enjoy some of the beauty this world has to offer.