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Science backs Healing with Nature

Eco Tour Byron Bay

17 Feb Science backs Healing with Nature

You feel better on return from a long day outdoors, in nature. More at peace, almost like a veil has been lifted, and you’ve returned to your original innocence.

As it turns out, there is good reason for that. As there is a science to almost everything in this world, there is scientific backing to say that being immersed in forests and other natural areas can reduce stress, improve moods, reduce anger and aggressiveness and increase overall happiness. Forest visits may also strengthen our immune system by increasing the activity and number of natural killer cells that destroy cancer cells. [1]

Studies are showing more and more evidence that people recover faster and better from a high-stress situation in a natural setting rather than urban. I can clearly visualise this when I imagine the instant gratification fix I might go after, like a Starbucks Frappe, versus taking myself up and into the arms of a tree. The indulgent, one-dimensional experience of mocha flavours swirling around my mouth as i sit in a soul-less mall starkly contrast the subtle, yet deep experiences I have with the tree, surrounded by the very ALIVE forest as I sit and take it all in. I might even feel tears welling up if i’ve been emotionally fragile, and I let them flow. There is no one around to judge. I have picked my special spot. The tree holds me, sending me little messages of wisdom and support as I lean on her for strength and clarity. After all, she has been there a lot longer than me (or that icy frappe!)

The thick veil of city fog has lifted, and as the science declares, my blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the level of “stress hormones” like Cortisol would have all decreased. In the mall, these things were more likely to rise, if anything.  Depression, anger and aggressiveness are also reduced, and if I happened to be a child in the tree, my ADHD symptoms would subside as I joyfully explored this beautiful little ecosystem, soaking up. [1]

If we can take the time to get into nature and really immerse, there is so much to gain for our health and wellbeing. I mean, cancer reduction?! Who could resist?? Let the Journey begin! As humans, we have evolved intimately enmeshed with the Earth for thousands of years. It’s no wonder it feels like returning to our original state, whole and innocent once again.

 

[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723161221.htm

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