How does nature impact our health?

It’s not always easy to take care of ourselves. We’re always being reminded to eat better, sleep more, reduce screen time and get outside. The list goes on. But when life gets busy, it's easy to become neglectful. We all know that one of the biggest contributors to our health is our environment but just how much are we connecting with nature?

Over the past few decades, people's levels of stress and busyness have risen dramatically. We seem to be spending less time immersed in nature than ever before, often experiencing ‘nature deficit disorder’ – a loss of wellbeing that comes from a disconnection from nature.

To boost our mental and physical health, we need to expose ourselves to nature regularly and reap the benefits that it has to offer. 

When it comes to connecting with nature, the health benefits are endless. Whether it's the great outdoors, a local park, or indoor plants, they all contribute to our overall well-being. No matter where we live, we can all find a form of nature to connect to. Studies show that even viewing scenes of nature can be beneficial to our mental health. 

A great way to get some much-needed peace and quiet is to slow down and be truly present. We’re all guilty of living our lives at such a fast pace that it becomes difficult to fully acknowledge the beauty around us. We live in a world that encourages us to move fast, but when it comes to connecting with nature this can cause some interference. A key part of experiencing nature is slowing down the mind and learning to appreciate what’s right in front of you.

When we’re overly stressed, it's both our minds and our bodies that feel the effects. Stress causes our immune systems to function less than efficiently which has a significant knock-on effect on the appearance of our skin. When we’re feeling overly stressed, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which in turn increases the production of a hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH stimulates your sebaceous glands, triggering more sebum production in your skin and changing the way the inflammatory mediators behave. 

One way to help skin stay healthy is to expose yourself to nature regularly. Not only is this a great way to calm your mind and your skin, but it has a bunch of other health benefits too including reducing feelings of anger, stress and anxiety, improving attention and empathy, and lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension.

If there’s one small lifestyle change you can make to improve your mental and physical health, it’s adding in some quality time spent with Mother Nature.

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