We all lead very busy lives and the hustle and bustle of the city can be tiring. We can take a gentle stroll through a park for granted when in reality spending time in the great outdoors really can be a nirvana.
Spending time in nature has proven to benefit us humans, our mental health, bodies and soul. Our natural environment is soft but harsh and peaceful but wild. It has a talent of harmonising everything in a magical ecological system that we seem to have taken ourselves away from.
Benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing has had a lot of research, but vice versa, living in an inner city can actually make us sick. The Glasgow effect, a name coined to explain the lower life expectancy of inner city Glaswegians, is evidence that living in a space with less green area than most other cities effects your health (*1). More so the detrimental impacts of growing up in a city versus in a rural area has been proven to higher the risk of mental health disorders, especially schizophrenia.
Scientifically most of us know the value of trees and plants on the respiratory system. Trees produce the oxygen we need to survive and we the carbon dioxide for trees. The systems nature has intended for us are amazing and taking time to appreciate a single tree or small flower is a blissful experience.
Going back, humankind was at one with nature, taking only what one would need and caring for the environment whilst doing so. Planting and growing is a satisfying and tender experience, from rubbing soil between fingers to patiently watching once a small seed grow.
There has been a lot of research into the health benefits of gardening, from being outside and getting active to positive psychological impacts. Mundane tasks cannot create the sense of pride and content of planting and harvesting a carrot or lettuce, it fills one with satisfaction and a sense of worth and pleasure. These processes are used to rehabilitate and aid recovery for many health conditions both mentally and physically (*2).
Listening to the ripple of water or the gentle song of birds in the trees, feeling the smooth or rough leaf in your palm and smelling coniferous pine in this autumnal garden. Being in nature is an ultimate sensory experience, which is divine for ones inner self.
We know that all of us grow up in the countryside and spend time amongst the fields and trees daily, however this emphasises the need to take time from our schedules to remember nature is a part of us. The city can be a huge ball of energy and source of motivation but remember to make time to switch off from technology and feed the soul good green energy.
Looking after yourself is so important, and getting yourself together with nature is proven to assist in this process. Not only can you better the planet by being involved in gardening, community allotments or growing your own food but its better for you too!
Written by Daisy Culbert