Life is busy. Really busy. After a long day at work, there's nothing more inviting than your comfy couch and favorite sweatpants (trust me, we get it). As tempting as it may be to dive into your relaxing routine, science proves that it is actually more beneficial (and even more relaxing) to spend some time with mother nature. It may sound like a chore, but there are many reasons why you should give it a shot and make it a part of your daily routine. Plus, we're pretty confident you'll come to enjoy it! Here are some of our favorite reasons to lace up your shoes and get outside.
Improve Your Mental Health
Everyone needs a good change of scenery. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, getting out and experiencing the beauty of nature is proven to improve your overall mental well being. Just a simple breath of fresh air can reduce the symptoms of depression, lessen perceived stress, and increase positive emotions. We can all spare 10 minutes of our time to improve the way we feel--physically and emotionally.
Strengthen Attention Span
A study was conducted on two groups of children diagnosed with ADHD. One group played inside, the other outside. The conclusion was that the children who spent time outdoors showed a significantly less amount of symptoms associated with ADHD. As some of us know, children are not the only ones that experience attention disorders. The Journal of Experimental Psychology says that regular walking outdoors increases your level of productivity and creative thinking. So, gather the family and go to the park or play a game of catch in the backyard. This will be beneficial for everyone!
Sleep More Soundly
Ahh, this is something we all need! Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute says that a morning walk around the same time each day will help you maintain a more consistent circadian rhythm. Consistency is very important here. Your body will recognize your routine, giving your brain a clear signal that it’s day time.
Become More Optimistic
It's fair to say that for most people, visually appealing things give us a sense of happiness in some way or another. How about a more positive outlook on life? Three scientists from VU University in Amsterdam conducted a study that concluded exposure to natural landscapes made people more optimistic. Grab a fishing pole and a cooler and head to the lake for more positive vibes in your life.
Be More Generous and Kind
Friendly people are so much more pleasant to have around. Kindness and generosity go a long way when it comes to developing stable, trusting relationships with people. A series of experiments conducted in 2014 found that exposure to nature increased positive emotions that led to pro-social behaviors. These people seemed to be more generous, trusting, and have a more pronounced willingness to lend a helping hand.
Look at all those benefits that a little fresh air will provide! Daily life can be quite stressful, so take a little bit of time to relieve the tension in your life, even if it's just 10 minutes per day. We're going to practice what we preach and do the same. So, what do you say? Let's do this together!