We’ve only been in our new flat for a week so it’s still early days, but I feel a lot less stressed here. It’s definitely quieter here, particularly at night which is great, though you can still hear them building somewhere during the day.
When we came to the viewing, I fell in love with the beauty here. The mountain, the trees, and the glimpses of the sea you get when there are no buildings or trees blocking the view. I feel truly blessed to be living here. The featured image for the article is the view from our balcony.
My relaxed state is probably due to a combination of factors, like being so far from the city and hustle and bustle, being able to sleep in peace at night, but mostly, I think it’s that we’re surrounded by nature.
Nature Reduces Stress (It’s Scientifically Proven)
If the concept of nature reducing stress sounds woo-woo to you, you aren’t alone. Even though logically I know that I’ve always felt better when I’m surrounded by nature.
Here’s a study by the Center for Environment, Health, and Field Studies. The simple act of walking in or seeing nature lowers cortisol levels, blood pressure, lowers pulse rate, and overall there is an improvement in stress response.
How Does Nature Help for Stress?
Many think it could be to do with the fact that our ancestors lived in nature. Sure, humans built structures way back in the day and even before medieval times there were towns, but they aren’t as we know them today.
There was still a lot of countrysides close by, dirt roads, trees, gardens, etc. Many major cities in the world today have very little nature. Some towns even lack trees and plants. So, it could just be how we were genetically programmed so to speak.
My theory is a combination of our “genetic programming” and the following: that nature is full of life and vitality. It’s also tranquil. We don’t see how hard the plants work to survive, and perhaps they don’t. They just respond to the sun, to the water, to the nutrients in the soil and the air.
Nature has always been the place where I feel closest to God. Unlike buildings and roads, the concrete jungle, nature is made by God. We plant seeds and water them, but God made the seeds and the water and trees, plants, grass, sand, etc.
There are times when we don’t feel at peace with God, but peace, love, joy, and mercy is what He offers us. When nature is healthy and we take care of it as we’re meant to, or in those areas we haven’t interfered in yet, I see some of what God truly wants for the world.
Goodness, peace, growth, vitality, happiness.
I love the sound of rain, I love hearing the wind in the trees, love hearing the waves or the sound that water makes when it runs over rocks and a winding riverbed.
I love the colour of the leaves when the sunlight goes through them and how flowers add pretty colours to all the green and brown and how water glitters when sunlight hits it. To me, nature is beautiful and it soothes my soul.
How to Surround Yourself with More Nature
Now, I do realise that not everyone can pop down to the beach, forest, or park, and many people don’t have proper yards where they can have a garden, but you don’t need to miss out if you don’t have these things:
- Get a pot plant: At work, having a pot plant or two can really help you to feel less stressed and less fatigued. You can also put pot plants in window sills or on the balcony if you have one at home. Plus, if you have herbs, you can use them for your cooking too. Yummy 🙂
- Put up pictures of nature: A painting or photograph of a beautiful nature scene can be helpful too, plus it can help your environment feel less sterile or boring, depressing, etc. In other words, it can liven up the place a bit.
- Nature screensaver or background: Images depicting nature on your computer is also a great option.
- Nature sounds: Heavy rain sounds are my go-to, but you can try waves, birds, wind rustling leaves, a thunderstorm, whatever works for you.
- Take a drive: If you can’t walk there, why not take a drive through a beautiful area or if you know that the bus or train takes a route through or past a beautiful area, you can just take public transport.
If you do have a garden or are able to walk to a park or the beach, make time to go regularly and either go for a walk there or just relax.
Hiking has the added benefit of being in nature and exercise. Of course, you can also exercise in your garden or wherever there’s a safe outdoor place to do so.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, give being out in nature or letting nature into your life a go. The how behind nature relieving stress doesn’t really matter. It’s a simple, effective, and for most people, free or affordable way to step out of the chaos of life for a little bit.
Take some you time or have fun with your family and friends outdoors and be awesome 😀