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How Nature Impacts Our Minds

October 6, 2015

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Nature is "the total phenomena of the physical world including plant kingdom, animal kingdom, landscapes, waters and other features and products of the earth, except human creations is nature.”

Nature connects to our minds: F.E. Kuo, W.C. Sullivan & Coley conducted a field study at the Human Environmental Research Lab. They found that, time spent in nature connects us to each other and the larger world. Another study at the University of Illinois revealed that residents of Chicago public housing who had trees and greenery around their building reported of having stronger feelings of unity with neighbors, being more concerned with helping and supporting each other and having stronger feelings of belonging than tenants in buildings without trees.

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A snap of Austrian village Hallstatt shows us how we can live amongst nature.

Nature heals us: Being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature in images reduces anger, fear, stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes us feel better emotionally, it contributes to our physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Several research proved that a bad environmental condition (like biohazards, pollution etc.) can increase our stress and depression level and impacts our bodies badly. On the other hand a clean green natural environment decreases our stress and depression level and impacts our bodies positively.

Nature improves memory: Marc G. Berman and his colleagues at the University of Michigan tested the effect of natural scenery on cognitive function & memory. The results showed that people’s (who participated in the test) short term memory increased by almost 20% after wandering amongst the trees regularly.

Nature reduces acute stress: Ever heard of ‘shinrin-yoku’? It’s a Japanese word which means ‘forest bathing’. The Japanese are big fans of walking in the forest to promote their mental health. Japanese researchers has found that ‘shinrin-yoku’ is particularly useful for those suffering acute stress. Forest bathing reduced the hostility and depression as well as increasing people’s liveliness.

Nature can improve ADHD symptoms: Children, suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder who play more outside (like in the greeny park full of trees) have less severe symptoms. Researcher Talylor and Kuo found that amongst 400 children diagnosed with ADHD, those that routinely played outside in green settings had better concentration. Not only that those children tend to be more healthy and happier.

From reducing stress and depression to making us healthy and strong, nature benefits us in every way.

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Nature is in danger: At present our ecosystem is in danger due to deforestation & man made pollution. There was approx. 40,318 square kilometers of total forest area in 2008 which reduced to 39,519 square kilometers in 2012 according to survey of FAOSTAT. As a result global warming and pollution rate increasing highly, damaging our healthy lifestyle.

Our Responsibilities: Now it’s time for us to protect our protectors.

-We need to save and plant trees effectively.

-We must adopt clean energy and use eco-friendly products.

-We should harvest rainwater and use it for farming. Pay attention to how you use water. The little things can make a big difference. Every time you turn off the water while you're brushing your teeth, you're doing something good.

-Use papers wisely, use both sides of a paper. Don’t print anything until it's necessary. Recycle newspapers.

-Turn off lights, computers, TVs and other electronics accessories when not in use.

-Use rechargeable batteries. Avoid and reject plastic containers, bottles as much as you can. We need to keep our world clean and green by maintaining our own local areas.

Citations: 

1. http://lhhl.illinois.edu/all.scientific.articles.htm

2. http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing

3. www-personal.umich.edu/~jjonides/pdf/2008_2.pdf

4. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coniferous_forest#Classification

5.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_bathing

 

Written by 7 Cups Listener: LoveApple

Edited by 7 Cups Ambassador: Anna

Tags:NatureImpactMindADHDStress Relief