Our minds are constantly pre-occupied with our day to day activities from remembering doctor appointments to giving advice to loved ones, and sometimes those things can create stress. Stress can raise your blood pressure, increase tensions in your muscles and overwhelm you with high feelings of anxiety. High stress not only affects you physically, but stress can also affect your brain health.
Studies show that spending time outside can help improve your brain health. Spending time outside can increase the feeling of contentment, reduce the feelings of anxiety, and impacts your immune and nervous system. Other benefits of getting outdoors include:
1. Better sleep: This is essential when it comes to having a good and healthy brain. Being outdoors helps regulate and improve your ability to fall and stay asleep.
2. Improved eyesight: Being indoors and constantly looking at electronic screens can strain your eyes and doesn’t allow them to get the proper exercise they need. Going outside and taking in the scenery will relax and strengthen your eyes.
3. Less pain: A recent study tested patients in a hospital who had gallbladder surgery and the results showed that those patients who sat by a window or went outside during recovery got out of the hospital faster than those who didn’t.
Making time to get outside is important, even if its only for 5 minutes a day. A Place for Mom shares a few different ways you can interact with nature:
1. Physically go outside: Make a schedule that allows you to go outside every day/week. Plan a walk around a soccer field with some friends or a bike ride around your local trails.
2. Purchase a plant: If getting outside is too difficult for you, bring the nature inside your home! Place plants by a window and take the time each day to nourish and spend time with the plants. Just like going outside and breathing the fresh air, this can reduce anxiety and stress.
3. Spend time with a pet: If you have an animal that can go outside, make sure you take them out. Instead of letting your pet go out in the backyard, go out for walks a few times a week instead. If you have an indoor animal, try petting them near a window.
Constant stress can damage and hurt your brain health. Connecting with nature is a good way to take yourself away from the every day hustle and bustle, while also benefiting your brain health.