Being in nature decreases stress
It’s clear that hiking—and any physical activity—can reduce stress and anxiety. But, there’s something about being in nature that may augment those impacts.
In one recent experiment conducted in Japan, participants were assigned to walk either in a forest or in an urban center (taking walks of equal length and difficulty) while having their heart rate variability, heart rate, and blood pressure measured. The participants also filled out questionnaires about their moods, stress levels, and other psychological measures.
Results showed that those who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress) and reported better moods and less anxiety than those who walked in urban settings. The researchers concluded that there’s something about being in nature that had a beneficial effect on stress reduction, above and beyond what exercise alone might have produced.
We evolved to be more relaxed in natural spaces.
In another study, researchers in Finland found that urban dwellers who strolled for as little as 20 minutes through an urban park or woodland reported significantly more stress relief than those who strolled in a city center.
The reasons for this effect are unclear, but scientists believe that we evolved to be more relaxed in natural spaces. In a now-classic laboratory experiment by Roger Ulrich of Texas A&M University and colleagues, participants who first viewed a stress-inducing movie and were then exposed to color/sound videotapes depicting natural scenes showed much quicker, more complete recovery from stress than those who’d been exposed to videos of urban settings.
These studies and others provide evidence that being in natural spaces—or even just looking out of a window onto a natural scene—somehow soothes us and relieves stress.
I came across this video and it made me think about humanity and our existence here on Earth! Although light pollution is not a major problem or threat to Nature, it does separate humanity from Nature. Without the bright city lights produced by man for man, this video was shot giving the viewer a different perspective of our home and existence here on Earth! Watch the video and see if it changes your personal perspective on humanity……… Are all the bright lights, really necessary?
watch this video: