Do you feel calmer after going for a walk in a natural setting?
If you live in an urban area, do you deal with stress by taking a vacation somewhere rural or wild? Many of us do. So, have you ever wondered why and how immersing yourself in a more natural environment makes you feel different? Why do we feel restored when we take a walk in the great outdoors?
The busy lives most of us lead these days takes us about as far as we can get from the natural world. It causes stress and makes our brains work hard to keep up. But is a simple walk in the forest enough to counteract the effects of modern living? Research is showing that the brain benefits by getting back to nature - from the foods we eat, to the pets we keep and to the places we go to relax.
The brain's response to the sights, sounds and even smells of nature has the power to trigger our hormones, readjust our heart rate, balance our mood, perk up our cognition and boost our immune system.
Listen @ http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile...ID/2397624550/
What I found most interesting was not just that the research showed that people felt 'better' after going for a walk in a natural setting vs. through a building, but that the test subjects underestimated how much better they would feel after going for the walk in nature.
There's also a little blurb in there from one of the researchers whose research has shown that TV makes you feel stressed instead of calming you, so if you really want to 'unwind' at the end of a day you should probably go for a walk and avoid watching the television. There is an old adage that "TV rots your brain" which I am beginning to feel is quite true through personal experience. I'm beginning to feel the same about surfing the web too.
I enjoy hiking and such, and I believe it really does make me feel more at peace. What are your thoughts and/or experiences?