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How Spending Time in Nature Affects us Positively

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Today I’m going to be talking about how spending time outdoors can do wonders for our physical and mental health, and overall improve our well being.


Do you often find yourselves spending all day indoors and staring at a screen, maybe studying for the slam of midterms that gets thrust upon you, and end the day feeling cloudy, or with huge mental brain fog? This happens to me often, and if you're anything like me,


I have to spend some time outside everyday so I don’t experience the negative side effects of relentlessly studying for classes. As I write this now, I’m outside, sitting next to the koi pond on campus (which I highly recommend visiting if you haven’t yet). It’s become a habit for me to do this and I sit by the koi pond daily, usually reading or listening to music, but I always try and make the effort to do this for myself. This simple act lets me clear my head for a few minutes; relaxing a little bit more and stressing less. Of course, I’m not able to entirely disconnect while still on campus, which is what a lot of people crave when they truly make the effort to find mental peace while in nature. It’s exactly why thousands of people camp in the mountains, or take up outdoor activities. While camping and hobbies that involve being in nature are not everyones cup of tea, there are so many ways we can spend time outdoors. From going on walks, to lying down in your backyard, the opportunities are endless- we just have to make the time. For me, I spend most of my free time (whenever I get any) at the ocean, surfing or soaking up the sea air. And, sometimes, this prescription is just what our minds and bodies need to feel better.


I’ve talked a lot about how I feel being outside but there is actually scientific evidence to back this up. Sources say that spending time outside improves breathing, sleep, motivation to exercise, reduce depression, and I think one of the most important, mental restoration. With all the technology we have surrounding us every second of every day, its pretty hard to disconnect, because if you have even one device on you, you’re more inclined to absent mindedly scroll on instagram or check your emails, something I am very guilty of. It's no wonder why some of us might feel overwhelmed or overstimulated- there are constant distractions competing for our attention at all times. The great part about being in nature, though, is that our senses can focus on the simple things we observe while out and manage to hold our attention without draining us mentally. According to the American Psychological Association, both being present in nature and also the sounds of nature (crickets, waves crashing, etc.) cause people to perform much higher on demanding cognitive tests. Other studies focus on the physical affects tied with being in nature, like boosting your immune system. Heathline says in "8 Health Benefits of Getting Back to Nature and Spending Time Outdoors" (and which also keeps in line with the biology of how our bodies protect themselves), spending time outdoors gives our immune system a chance to help it distinguish in the future between what is and is not “dangerous”, pathogen speaking-wise. All in all, the positive effects of spending time outdoors is so influential for our well being. I encourage everyone to try and find the time to do this for yourself- I can guarantee your mind and body will be thanking you.


Take care of yourselves ladies,

Alex


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