Nature has always been present in our lives and we have it there as if it were nothing, as something incorporated into us since our birth and, therefore, it often goes unnoticed. In our daily routine, it is easy to forget the profound influence it has on our mental and physical health. However, nature is not only around us: it is essential to our well-being.
Therefore, in a world where environmental destruction is having increasingly severe consequences, it is essential to remember its importance and the imperative need for its conservation. Otherwise, we could lose what we have always taken for granted will be there forever.
THE BENEFITS OF NATURE FOR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
More and more research supports the idea that being in contact with the natural world positively impacts our mental and physical health. But when we say positive, we are not referring to something superficial. As we will explain below, contact with nature has profound benefits for human beings.
Nature has a calming effect that goes beyond what we think. Scientific studies have shown that being in nature reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. In addition, other research has also revealed that even brief exposure to natural environments can lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the effects of stress on the body.
Exposure to nature has been associated with improved mood. Research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural environment showed less activity in the part of the brain associated with rumination, a key factor in depression. In addition, being in nature increases levels of serotonin, one of the brain chemicals related to happiness.
Nature can have a positive impact on concentration and memory. A study conducted at the University of Michigan indicates that a walk in nature significantly improves working memory, a key component of attention and concentration. This suggests that even small doses of nature can have a beneficial effect on our ability to concentrate on tasks.
The connection with nature can stimulate creativity. Researchers at the University of Kansas found that spending time in nature increases creativity and problem-solving. This increase in creativity can be beneficial both at work and in everyday life because it should be remembered that creativity is not only in the artistic field, it also refers to the ability to invent or create, and both are used in all areas of life.
WHY IS THERE THIS CONNECTION BETWEEN NATURE AND WELL-BEING?
Humans have evolved in contact with nature. Our connection with the natural world is intrinsic and it is only in recent times that we have lived in urban and suburban environments.
In addition, nature offers a way to restore our attention and energy. Instead of the constant stimulation of modern life, natural environments allow our minds to rest and recharge. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to nature promotes cognitive restoration, or in other words, increases the ability to concentrate and be productive.
Last but not least, the connection with nature is essential to our existence. We depend on it for food, water, clean air, and medicine. Biodiversity and healthy ecosystems are fundamental to our survival and well-being. By taking care of nature, we are taking care of ourselves.
THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING CARE OF NATURE
You see, nature is the backbone of life on Earth. It is not simply something that is and will be there forever, it is a fundamental component of humanity’s existence and the health of the planet. However, certain human activities such as deforestation, pollution, and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources constantly threaten the integrity of the ecosystems that sustain us.
The diversity of species and ecosystems is not only a sign of the planet’s beauty but also plays an essential role in the Earth’s health and our own. Biodiversity loss, largely driven by human action, would have disastrous consequences.
The food chain is affected, which could lead to shortages of essential natural resources. For example, the disappearance of bees and other pollinators would threaten food production worldwide. In addition, the loss of biodiversity can increase the transmission of infectious diseases, as has been demonstrated in aquatic ecosystems.
The fight against climate change is therefore one of the most urgent challenges of our time. Forests, oceans, and other ecosystems act as carbon sinks, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate global warming. The conservation of these ecosystems is not only crucial for climate regulation but also plays a role in protecting against natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
Remember: Taking care of the planet is taking care of your home and your well-being!