Stick me in a room, day after day, with those fluorescent psych ward style lights, synthetic carpet, toxic painted walls and the same air that has been circulating in there for what seems like decades and it won’t be too long until I’m crackin the sads. This is a well known phenomenon I like to call nature withdrawals.

Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple life giving plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety. So it’s no wonder that getting out and connecting to nature can positively impact our wellbeing. Here’s a few facts about getting your nature fix on :

Dr Mercola states in a recent article about earthing your feet to the ground (you know that skin to grass thing they did in the olden days);
“Your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth.
Research indicates that electrons from the Earth have antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation and its many well-documented health consequences”. Awesome isn’t it? You don’t have to go spend $47 on a teaspoon of acai berries to get and antioxidant hit. Just take off those shoes and get out in your garden.

Throw away that smooth soothing red wine and take a walk on the wild side instead.
Nature can help us cope with pain. This is due to the fact that we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other nature elements engrossing, we are absorbed by nature scenes and distracted from our pain and discomfort.
This is nicely demonstrated in a now classic study of patients who underwent gallbladder surgery; half had a view of trees and half had a view of a wall. According to the physician who conducted the study, Robert Ulrich, the patients with the view of trees tolerated pain better, appeared to nurses to have fewer negative effects, and spent less time in a hospital.

Nature can help us get connected and become less anxious and stressed. Studies by Ulrich, Kim, and Cervinka show that time in nature or scenes of nature are associated with a positive mood, and psychological wellbeing, meaningfulness, and vitality.

Next time you feel stressed or even a little down go outside and go for a slow wander through nature. Get out of your head and stop, take a deep breath and notice the magnificents that is going on around you. you might even find hugging a tree therapeutic. I know I do.