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Fall Into Nature
Last year, the UK launched a month-long nature challenge, which involved people doing something “wild” outside every day for 30 consecutive days. On the anniversary of the challenge, a new evaluation of the data shows how scientifically and statistically significant being out in nature really is for our health and wellbeing.
According to the BBC, the study showed that there was a scientifically significant increase in people’s health, happiness and connection to nature when participants engaged in active nature behaviors such as feeding birds or planting flowers. This was shown not only throughout the 30-day challenge, but was also sustained for months after the challenge had completed.
Additionally, the number of people reporting their health as “excellent” increased by 30%. Researchers believe that there is a connection between the improvement in health, increase in happiness and connection with nature. Ultimately these findings add to a growing body of evidence that shows definitely that we need nature for our health and wellbeing.
Additional benefits of being in nature that were identified by the team of researchers included:
- Improving self-esteem, particularly in children;
- Boosting creativity;
- Feeling more comfortable taking risks;
- Reducing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);
- Increasing concentration;
- Decreasing stress;
- Boosting life satisfaction;
- Increasing vitality;
- Lowering cognitive anxiety;
- Improving happiness; and even
- Increased income.
And the keys to accessing these benefits seem to be creativity, connection and fun. Researchers found that participating in more scientific and knowledge-based activities in nature did not show the same increased benefits. But, when participants were free to interact with nature as they desired, an deeper connection with nature occurred. Scientists identified the following pathways that helped people feel closer to nature during this study:
- Compassion; and
So what can we do to get in on these amazing benefits of nature? Step outside and participate in one – or many – of the following:
- Plant some flowers
- Tend to a garden
- Lay in the grass
- Climb a tree
- Explore the tidepools
- Feed the birds
- Swim in an ocean, lake or river
- Ride a horse
- Pick some apples
- Jump in the fallen leaves
- Lay in the sun
- Skip a rock
- Search for seashells
- And remember to have fun!
Heading into fall is the perfect time to get outside and experience nature’s magnificence! Tell us how you are “falling into nature” in the comments.