Approximately a hundred years ago, the vast majority of people – including those in developed nations – lived and worked in relatively natural rural environments, and had a close connection to the tides of the natural world.
Today, the situation is completely reversed, and people all around the world are increasingly flooding urban centers – which more and more serve as the default human habitation.
While there are many potential benefits and conveniences that come with living in a more developed urban area, however, there is also a broad range of different environmental consequences associated with the explosion of urban spaces. It’s partly for this reason that Free ECO grants have been implemented in some areas, to help homeowners create more eco-friendly living environments.
At the same time, though, many of the consequences of being more and more detached from the natural world have to do with individual health and well-being.
Here are just a few reasons to make an effort to get closer to nature on a regular basis.
Because doing so can work wonders in terms of helping to ground you and reducing stress
Urban environments are naturally fast-paced and can be highly stressful in a range of different ways – not only in terms of the conflicts and interpersonal dramas that often take place in densely populated areas but also in terms of the simple psychological impact that being in such a frenetic environment has on individuals.
When there’s always traffic moving past your window, and when you look outside and see concrete, glass, and stores, you are likely to find that you automatically end up becoming more agitated and stressed as a result.
By contrast, research suggests that time spent in natural environments can help to melt away stress and to create a calmer, brighter and more measured and slow-paced state of mind, that doesn’t depend on continuously trying to get ahead, and rushing from place to place, or watching your back, at any given time.
In fact, regularly spending time in nature can be so soothing, and could be so effective at relieving stress, that doctors in some countries have reportedly begun to prescribe time outdoors to patients.
Along the same lines, the Japanese pastime of “forest “bathing is now spreading across the world and is amassing a great amount of popularity among all sorts of stressed individuals who like the prospect of decompressing in harmonious green environments.
Because it can help to give you a broader and more holistic perspective on things
Over the course of everyday life, you are likely to get caught up in all sorts of concerns and are likely to be preoccupied by many different potential sources of stress and frustration.
One of the consequences of this is that we’re all prone to becoming hyper fixated on a particular issue that is concerning to us, to the extent that we find it very difficult – if not impossible – to take a step back and achieve a broader and more holistic perspective on things, that can lead to a more reasoned perspective, and potential solutions that we might otherwise have overlooked.
Spending time in the natural world tends to automatically encourage this kind of broader and more holistic perspective on things, by means of helping you to step back from your everyday concerns, and to become absorbed in the broad beauty, harmony, and balance of the natural world itself.
It’s significant to keep in mind that many influential individuals throughout history have credited regular walks in nature for some of their most significant works of art, invention, or thought.
Because there are direct health benefits to be obtained from spending more time in natural settings
Spending time in a natural setting and getting closer to nature seems to have a brilliant impact on health as a whole, not only in terms of helping to reduce stress but also in terms of things that are not fully understood, such as inhaling healing aerosol compounds that are released by trees.
With fresh air, healing compounds that we don’t fully understand, and all sorts of other potential factors that exceed our current understanding, the natural world can be very healing.
Because nature is the perfect counterbalance to our increasingly technological societies
In today’s world, virtually everyone is caught up in staring at a screen for significant chunks of the day, and societies by and large are becoming increasingly technological as time goes by.
While there are many benefits to the assorted technologies that we use on an everyday basis – including the digital ones – it’s also important to keep in mind that balance is necessary in order to avoid the issues that have recently been gaining public attention, related to screens. Things like increased risk of depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Nature is the perfect counterbalance to our increasingly technological societies and man-made environments. So let’s all make an effort to get Closer to Nature.