With so many of us living in cities, humans have lost touch with Mother Nature.
The average American now spends over 10 hours every day connected to an electronic device. Factor in sleep, work, and/or school, and we're left with less than eight hours each week for other activities like socializing, hobbies, or exercise.
If you're like most of us, you long to reconnect with nature. You fantasize about setting your cell phone aside and enjoying a day in the natural world.
Here are five compelling reasons why you should do just that.
5 Reasons to Reconnect with Nature
1. Fosters Positive Emotions
Studies show that watching even brief nature videos lead viewers to feel awe, gratitude, wonder, and reverence. Positive emotions also benefit our society by increasing feelings of trust and cooperation.
If you can feel all that from watching a video, imagine how much positivity you'll gain by actually going out to reconnect with nature.
2. Keeps Our Problems in Perspective
Have you ever stood on the seashore and marveled at how small you felt? Perhaps you felt the same way standing beneath a majestic range or beside a powerful river.
This is no coincidence.
Viewers who spent just five minutes watching Planet Earth said their concerns seemed trivial. They also reported feeling that they themselves were part of something larger.
3. Eases Stress Levels
Besides boosting positive emotions, nature also offers physical and mental health benefits.
Research suggests that living in or having access to nature reduces stress levels. One study found that people who live near large areas of open green space felt less stress and experienced lower cortisol levels.
4. Keeps Us Physically Active
You've probably heard the phrase, "Sitting is the new smoking."
It's true. Sitting for long hours every day (like most of us do) can lead to serious health problems.
The perfect antidote? Get off the chair, out of the house, and go enjoy nature. Even a simple walk in the park or working in a garden will boost your physical health and help you stay active.
5. Preserves Nature For the Future
Do you have memories of hiking or camping with your parents or grandparents? Most of us do, because their generation grew up before technology took over the world.
What legacy will we leave for our children and grandchildren? If we know nothing about nature, how can we possibly pass on to them the importance of caring for our environment?
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to reconnect with nature is so future generations will love, respect, and protect it.
Ways to Reconnect
You don't have to go camp in the wilderness for a month to connect with nature. Here are a few simple ways to feel more connected:
- Walk, canoe, or ride a horse
- Marvel at the change of seasons
- Build a birdhouse or plant flowers that attract animals
- Visit a nearby lake, park, or another natural area
- Walk barefoot and feel the earth between your toes
- Grow your own vegetables or herbs
- Enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset
Engaging in activities like these will help you feel more connected to nature.
In our modern world, it's easy to get distracted by work, school, and electronics.
Now more than ever, though, it's vital to reconnect with nature for our physical, mental, and emotional health.
Looking for more ways to get out and enjoy nature? Check out our recent post about fun outdoor activities.