Nature’s Healing Energies
There are other processes that occur in our bodies that help us to feel nurtured and connected when we’re in nature. Studies have shown that when we’re in a room with plants as opposed to a room without them, our stress levels go down. Cortisol levels drop. Alpha waves change in your brain, even if you just look at pictures from nature!
Negative emotional states of mind such as anger, depression, anxiety, and aggression reduce when people are in touch with nature. Research done in sleep studies shows that grounding a person to the earth during sleep improves the quality of their sleep and reduces stress.
In a 2009 study, the medical records of 345,143 Dutch people were assessed. This research revealed that people who live within a kilometer of the woods or a park are healthier than those who don’t. People living in urban areas, away from green areas, were found to have a greater incidence of 15 of the 24 conditions. Within the city, people who exercise outside, like jogging in a park, are found to be healthier than those who exercise in a gym. Those in the urban areas had more depression and anxiety than those living close to green areas. It seems that nature is really good at balancing the human body and mind.
Nature as therapy is becoming widely recognized around the globe, especially in Asia. They are building nature-centered healing centers in forests to help people overcome emotional and physical pain and stress to improve their well-being. It would make sense to plan the development of hospitals, homes, workplaces, and schools in settings where people inside could see nature through their windows and walk outside to be in a green setting.