Centuries ago, our ancestors had an intimate relationship with nature. They traveled using the position of stars, found food by following trails, and even learned how to avoid predators by using survival skills. Fast forward to our modern urban lifestyles, and we have lost that connection to nature. However, while we rarely connect with nature these days, we still have not lost that energetic connection to Mother Earth.
Nature can have very profound effects on your family’s well-being and it holds true for both children and adults. Seniors also gain numerous health benefits just from being around nature. Let us look at some of these benefits.
Just being around nature lifts the spirit, and may reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Even having a plant in the house can increase positive energy and reduce stress levels.
If you have an upset child, or if you’re experiencing stress or anxiety, then visiting your garden, a nearby park, or flowing stream does wonders to calm down wired nerves. The soothing sounds of running water also have a positive effect on mental health. Many retirees, for example, choose to live by the ocean or near waterways. Blue mind science, as it is called, has found scientific basis for the contribution of water features to the well-being of people.
Have you ever noticed how working in a garden somehow boosts your productivity? That is probably why authors who are in the midst of writing a book like to be closer to nature. Findings from a study conducted among Danish creative professionals showed that “nature has the ability to evoke the creative way of thinking by making us more curious, able to get new ideas as well as flexible in our way of thinking”.
A study of 20,000 people, led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, found that spending two hours (120 minutes) a week in nature (such as parks, woodlands, and beaches) “is associated with better health and well-being”.
Seniors have the most to gain from outdoor spaces with nature features. Urban garden spaces were positively associated with mental health and social functioning. More adult family homes like those at Longhouse now include features that make life more pleasant, such as fresh air, natural light, trees and greenery, tranquility, the sound of birds and flowing water, access to earth and gardens, or a family pet.
Studies have shown that being in nature reduces blood pressure, eases headaches, regulates cortisol production, controls stress, and has a positive effect on illnesses.
Nature is healing in numerous ways for kids and adults, especially seniors. One can take away so many benefits from just soaking up the sun, gardening, walking near water, and other outdoor activities. Despite how busy our lives can be, it is to our advantage to take time out to commune with nature.