The Healing Power of Nature

Urban dwellers are all too familiar with how the noise, landscapes, and lifestyle of a city may take a toll in a person's overall well being.  Indeed, nowadays it has become quite an undertaking to find ways on how to reconnect with nature, since cities these days are the best example of a concrete jungle. After all, a long exposure to stressful environments may have a price for the body and mind.  A recent research suggests that in order to maintain health and wellbeing, city occupants should strive for exposure to nature.

By now, more than half of the world’s population is living under urbanized environments. Each year cities are getting bigger and until recently did city planning begin to involve natural settings within their scope of design. The discovery of structural plasticity of the brain, which is the ability for the brain to form new neurological connections and rewire itself, suggests that exposure to enriching natural environments augments people’s brains capacity to form new connections. It is believed that this paradox is due because exhibition to nature can have calming effects on the mind, moreover it helps enrich one’s mental health and well being.

In 1980, a researcher was attracted to a phenomenon that was occurring at a small suburban hospital in Pennsylvania. Some patients who underwent a minimal surgery, were recovering at a much faster rate than other patients. Some patients even managed to recover two weeks earlier compared to their counterparts. between each other  Moreover, nurses recorded that these patients usually required less painkiller treatment and were relatively much more happy. The latter group was described by the same nurses as “more depressed”, “with need of encouragement”, and “experiencing more pain and crying”. So what was the cause of this intriguing mystery?

The researcher found that the answer lay on the scenery of the rooms. Patients who recovered  faster  were placed in a room with an outside view of a small, green backyard. While the other patients, which happened to recover at a slower rate, were facing a brick wall. Apart from the view, the rooms were identical.

These results were startling because the effects of scenery were so impacting, in the sense that they were much more effective than the effects of various targeted treatment interventions. By some measures, patients who gazed out at a natural scene, were four times better off than those who faced the wall. This type of research usually spikes strong skepticism from the scientific community, but plenty of studies have evidenced the effect nature can have on people.

Many psychologists believe that the main reason nature has such a soothing effect on a human's brain is because we evolved around it. Only ten thousand years ago did we stop living in it. Just a small walk in the park can have immense effects on our health. This discoveries is very important because given the modern lifestyle, we are seldom exposed to natural environments. We, at The Perfect Male Blog, believe that the key to success is to have a balanced lifestyle.  One recent study tested over 1,200 elderly adults. Those who had not engaged in outdoor recreation in the past year were the most prone to major depression. Those who spent time outside four or more times a week suffered the least depression.

So just as the society encourages us to strive for a good job, education, house, car, etc. We encourage each one of you to reconnect with nature. Leave all modern day distractions behind and go out to a calm space, breathe fresh clean air, and meditate.  The effects on your health will be lasting.
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