10 reasons nature is good for you

You probably already know that nature is good for you. Maybe you've heard something about it in the media, or maybe you just feel better on some level when you are outside. Here are 10 reasons why a dose of nature is good for you...

10 reasons nature is good for you Catherine Mason

1. It makes you feel good! Spending time in nature increases serotonin production in your brain and can lift your mood in as little as 20 minutes. People who live on streets with lots of trees have been shown to be happier than those who live on streets without trees. So if you want a quick boost of happiness, go for a 20 minute walk in a park or forest.

2. It lowers your blood pressure. Spending time in green spaces, particularly forests, can lower your blood pressure. This is so powerful that even looking at a picture of a forest will have some effect, although not as much as physically being there.

Microbes antidepressant nature is good for you

4. Nature can improve your physical health and fitness. Walking outside is more beneficial to your health than walking the same distance on a treadmill. It can also inspire you to start or maintain an exercise habit if you have the added incentive of exercising in a natural environment. The beauty we perceive in nature acts as a stimulus and reward to our brain for getting outside.

5. Nature can boost our immune system. Plants and trees give off phytoncides, airborne chemicals with antibacterial and antifungal properties that protect them from disease. When we breathe them in there is an increase in a type of white blood cell in our bodies called Natural Killer cells (NK). These NK cells are responsible for killing tumour-infected cells and virus-infected cells. Exposure to pathogens that naturally occur in the air and soil can also help boost our immunity by building up a tolerance in our bodies towards these pathogens so they are less likely to make us ill.

Trees improve air quality

7. Nature has a positive impact on your mental health. Many studies have shown that spending time outdoors reduces stress and anxiety and can aid in the recovery from mental illness. It also acts as a preventative measure, with people who spend regular time in nature from childhood onward being significantly less likely to suffer from mental illnesses as an adult.

8. Spending time in nature boosts concentration and memory, and can be particularly helpful for children with ADHD. If you spend a lot of time indoors, working in an office environment for example, your brain can feel really foggy by the end of the day. If you take a 20 minute walk in a park at lunchtime it has a restorative effect and you will be much more productive in the afternoon. Natural environments can be calming and help restore focus to children who find concentrating for long periods difficult. Nature time has been recommended as an inexpensive and widely accessible tool for managing ADHD symptoms.

sunshine vitamin D seasonal affective disorder

10. Spending time in nature can improve your family relationships. The serotonin boost you get from being outside works to strengthen family bonds when you are outside together. Family activities such as building a den or catching tadpoles involve working together and problem solving. This teamwork can lead to improved communication between family members, and often has long-lasting effects resulting in a more peaceful and connected home life.

All in all, if you are feeling a bit run down or under the weather, some time outdoors in a natural environment might be just what you need! If you want some ideas you can download my free guide on how to use nature to improve your wellbeing.

What is your favourite way to get a dose of nature? Let me know in the comments! If you found this article useful please share it with your friends or pin the image below to Pinterest so more people can find it. Thanks!

10 reasons nature is good for you catherine mason

Full Moon Energy Shift - Getting Outside

After putting out some of my oracle cards to soak up the full moon energy last night, I drew a card this morning that caused me to go out for a run for the first time in ages. Getting out in the sunshine with the birds singing made me feel so good I decided to make you a little video about it!

The Oracle cards are Nature's Whispers Oracle Cards by Angela Hartfield and Josephine Wall. They are one of my favourite sets, the artwork is stunning and I find they always resonate really deeply.
oracle cards Catherine Mason

If you manage to get outside to enjoy the sunshine over the next few days take a picture, or even a little video of your own and let me see! Share them using the hashtag #52weekswild or tag me (@velvetbarnacle)

2017 - a year of nature

Happy New Year! I hope you had a lovely holiday season and feel refreshed and ready to take on 2017! Over Christmas I was thinking about how little I had managed to get outside, and that it was really affecting my mood. Although I know the power nature has to make us feel better, both physically and mentally, I don't always make it a priority to get out and spend time outdoors.

winter trees nature challenge

In 2017 I am going to do something about it! Every week I will make an effort to explore nature in some way, either by physically getting out as much as I can or studying some aspect of the natural world creatively, or some combination of the two. I will be documenting my Wild Year in my art/nature journal, and sharing it here and (more often) on Instagram. If you would like to join in let me know in the comments or share your own explorations using the hashtag #52weekswild.

catherine mason nature challenge

I don't want to restrict myself too much a whole year in advance so I'm not using any specific weekly prompts but I thought it would be fun to have a guiding theme for each month. That will give me something to focus on if I'm struggling to get creative, and will help with a sense of community for anyone joining in on social media. These themes will follow the seasonality of the natural world so they shouldn't be too difficult to stick to, although sometimes it I might only follow them loosely! If you want to join in don't feel you have to stick to the monthly themes if they don't resonate with you, pick any bits you like and leave the rest.

52weekswild nature challenge themes