The benefits of nature on well-being have been well-documented in the science based literature, as well as in various cultures. As psychologists, we know that time spend in nature boosts positive emotions, connectivity, gratitude and kindness. Some clients ask, why is nature so healing?
Research shows that unplugging, lacing up your hiking boots or athletic shoes and getting into "green" reduces stress. Many clients report feeling "awe" when traveling to national parks such as Shenandoah, Yosemite, or Yellowstone. Nature activates the specific reward circuits in the brain, releasing dopamine and promoting energy, purpose and inspiration. Thus, taking time out of our busy Northern Virginian lifestyles to reconnect and ground ourselves with the earth, particularly in the spring, allows clients to re-balance, reflect, and re-engage their pro-social tendencies, generosity and kindness.
So take the time to get outside, use your sensory system and be present with the birds, trees, water, and ground. You won't regret the time lost to homework, chores or work but rather you are likely to feel rejuvenated, energetic and possibly more creative.