Nature is incredible, from enjoying breathtaking and beautiful mountainous landscapes to sea views. Most of us can reminisce and transcend back to these timeless moments, where we’ve witnessed such sites. Now, evidence is emerging that breathtaking scenery can affect our mood and make us feel relaxed and happy. According to scientists, nature can physically and mentally improve our lives, sounds like magic…
Personally, my favourite spot is definitely on the top of a high mountain or hill. I can sit and observe the view around me for hours.
Studies show that nature and the colour green in particular has a very positive impact on us and on people with dementia. A natural environment can improve hormone balance and improve heart rate and diastolic blood pressure for those living with dementia.
In the United States more and more ‘green rooftops’, are popping up. These are rooftops covered with grass or plants. This helps to cool down buildings but the psychological benefits of green roofs for busy office workers may also be beneficial.
Research from the University of Melbourne has found that lush green nature can improve our productivity, even if your work place doesn’t have a view of nature at all. Going outdoors on a break for a few minutes and observing the trees and sky can improve your mood and productivity.
The study was conducted with the help of 150 students “Students returned to the task at hand with greater attention to detail and overall improved performance after looking at the natural scenes, as opposed to the urban images.”
Being immersed in nature and surrounded by magnificent landscapes can also help patients with cancer. This improves their communication and everyday tasks. “Of course, nature is not a panacea, but it’s an inexpensive and effective tool for dampening the impact of illness, and dulling the intrusion of everyday stress.”
Many other studies showed that patients with a view facing trees and nature instead of those with an urban view of a brick wall, recovered faster and were less likely to be depressed.
Nature can restore our mental functioning the same way that food and water restores our bodies.
“People who are exposed to natural scenes aren’t just happier or more comfortable; the very building blocks of their physiological well-being also respond positively.” Natural environments help to fight depression, to sleep better and they make you feel calm and relaxed. People are less exposed to stress when they are surrounded by nature.
South Africa’s Cape Town is said to have air known as “The Cape Doctor” and stunning views along the coast and from the mountains. For years, those who were terminally ill have traveled to the windy southern city, to experience this and breathe fresh air said to aid their recovery.
In addition to green nature, mountains, trees or grass, research by Roger Ulrich and a couple known as the Kaplans, ‘blue-space’ such as rivers and the ocean can also have a positive impact on the human brain.
Many care homes have video screens showing aquatic environments, it has being proven to be very effective. Dr. Deborah Cracknell is also looking into the effects of watching fish in aquariums and tanks. “There have been studies in the past looking at the health benefits of fishtanks, often in healthcare settings for Alzheimer’s patients or the elderly,” says Cracknell.
Speaking of blue spaces, I believe we all like relaxing walks by the river lake or along the beach. I personally love walking by the beach early in the morning or even late at night. There’s something very relaxing and beautiful about that…the smell of the sea and the sound of the water makes you forget your worries and fills you with positive energy.
As a person who loves to travel, I particularly enjoy places with a lot of green natural space and mountains and lakes. I find these landscapes fascinating. It makes me very happy, relaxed and always improves my mood. One unforgettable trip abroad where I had the chance to enjoy the most beautiful view I have ever seen, was to ‘7 Rila Lakes’ in Bulgaria, a magical place. The view is a combination of a green mountain backdrop betwixt blue spaces where lakes have formed. Standing on the top of the mountain and staring at the lakes from there, was a divine feeling.
If you feel stressed today, why not go for a walk by the beach or to the nearest park.
With proof that nature is therapeutic we have all the excuses we need to take time out today and enjoy it. Let’s empty our thoughts and sit in nature for five minuets or maybe more.