Brinnnnngggg, brinnngggg...it's nature calling, and not the kind you might be thinking of...are you going to pick up?
We have days, maybe weeks at a time that we just don't have time to get out to the lake or river. Or life....life happens too. But if you're like us, and you start to get a little antsy when you know its been too many days without her... answer that call, the call of the wild, the call of a roaring river, the call of a fox running by on the trail, the call of day break, the call of the wind, the leaves, the sun the air, answer it.
Studies show “natural environments are a fundamental health resource, particularly in terms of disease prevention” (Maller et al. 2008). Researchers are demonstrating the positive effects of nature on blood pressure, cholesterol, outlook on life, and stress reduction. It has also proven beneficial to those with attention deficit disorder (Kuo and Taylor 2004). Spending time in nature also has been linked to longevity and decreased risk of mental illness in studies in Scandinavia and the Netherlands (De Vries et al. 2003, Grahn and Stigsdotter 2003).
In Japan, shinrinyoku, or forest bathing, is a short, leisurely visit to a forest. A Japanese study of men and women on a 3-day/2-night trip to a forest included
short walks each day (Li 2009). Blood and urine samples were tested during and following the trip. Results suggest that a monthly trip in nature could provide maintenance levels of cells that work to prevent cancer generation and development, among other benefits. Breathing in antimicrobial compounds found in the essential oils of trees increases relaxation and improves stress management resulting in increased vitality and less anxiety, depression, anger and other stress-related diseases.
This goes for water too, especially water. Often referred to as blue space, the impact of the sea, rivers and lakes on our happiness and well-being is being researched much more by neuro-scientists and psychologists. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, has discussed and published the different ways bodies of water really can positively affect us and many psychologists have researched how just having blue space in front of you can boost your mental health.
So, the next time nature calls, pick up!!! Even if only for a mini trip to a nearby bridge to cast a line, or a walk down a lakeside trail, your body and mind will thank you.