There have been many studies documenting the benefits of nature immersion, pointing to the very unnatural state that most of us live in thanks to the technology afforded to us. After all, we get up earlier than the sun, stay up long after it sets, and fill our eyes and minds with electronic images throughout the day—on our smartphones, our laptops, our televisions, and our car gadgets. We sit in cars to commute for potentially hours from our homes and then sit in schools and offices all day to soak up artificial light and more technological images. For thousands of years, this is not the way our ancestors survived in the world, and there is nothing natural about it.
Many scientists point to people needing a return to nature to correct a variety of health problems which have emerged in recent years and which likely have links to such disconnects from nature. Here are some ways that nature immersion could improve our lives, mentally and physically:
- Better blood pressures and heart health
- Increased memory capacities
- Better gastrointestinal health
- Better eyesight
- Better weight management
- Possible aid in fighting terminal diseases
- Lower rates of depression or a reduction in depression symptoms
- Lower stress
- Fewer problems with irregular heartbeats
- Reduction in ADD symptoms
- Increased concentration
- Improved creativity
- Better problem solving skills
Some of these results can be linked to increased Vitamin D, an increase in cortisol, and/or an increase in adrenaline, depending on what activities one engages in while outdoors. But there also seems to be something innately positive that occurs in human health simply from connecting to a more natural world and without electronic devices.