Bonne et Belle

How Nature Therapy Improves Mental and Physical Wellbeing

Anita Webster
Anita Webster
How Nature Therapy Improves Mental and Physical Wellbeing

Some people are born with a natural love for nature. Hiking, camping, gardening and enjoying the great outdoors are their activities of choice, and when they can’t be in nature they feel the loss deeply. For many of us, however, heading outside might not be at the top of our list of favorite leisure activities. Urban environments and busy lifestyles often don’t leave much room for nature as we increasingly spend our days in offices or behind computers and screens.

The good news for all of us is that nature doesn’t discriminate between these two kinds of people when it comes to bestowing mental health benefits. Whether we’re natural-born nature lovers or not, science is on the side of getting outdoors.

What Science Says About the Benefits of Nature Therapy

Urban living takes a mental and physical toll on us, and just walking out into a nearby park can boost our mood and lower our stress levels. But the benefits of nature therapy are greater than what we feel in the moment. Research shows that nature therapy can:

Reduce stress

Antimicrobial compounds called phytoncides have a unique ability to improve immunity while also lowering stress and improving sleep. These compounds are found in the area of the forest, and we can benefit from them simply by breathing in forest air.

Boost immunity

Scientific literature suggests that exposure to increased biodiversity in nature can reduce inflammation, boost overall immunity, and reduce allergic responses. It can also promote healing and improve physical measures of chronic stress.

Improve mental health

Research demonstrates that being exposed to nature can improve feelings of happiness, promote positive social interactions, and reduce risk factors for some types of mental illness, including ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Overall, being in nature helps us feel more positive and calms our minds and bodies, enabling us to release stress as we relax into the environment around us.

Improve cognitive ability

A 2019 review of scientific studies found that green space can improve cognitive abilities and self-control in children. The study also found that spending time in nature can improve working memory, attention, and cognitive flexibility. These results may be related to decreases in stress and anxiety, giving our minds the freedom to focus, explore, and create.

These are just a few of the ways nature improves health and wellbeing, and there are many more. Nature therapy is also correlated with lower heart rates and blood pressure, improved sense of meaning in life, better school performance, and improved creativity. According to the research, getting outside is beneficial in just about every way.

Experience Nature Through Forest Bathing

As humans, we are wired to be in nature. When we spend the majority of our time indoors, we feel the effects in our bodies and our minds. Getting outside reverses those negative effects and allows us to engage with our world the way we are meant to. Forest bathing takes these experiential benefits to a new level through intentional, deep connections with nature.

During a forest bathing experience, you will enjoy a walk with a nature therapist who helps you intentionally experience nature through your five senses. Using guided conversation and activities, the therapist helps you connect with the natural world. As you focus on what you can see, hear, smell, and feel, your stress levels come down and your mind begins to feel calmer.

At Bonne et Belle, our nature therapy experiences include a leisurely walk through the woods and fields as our certified nature therapist invites you to experience the natural world around you through your senses. Experiences can be tailored for all ages, from children through adults. It’s a perfect recipe for melting stress, improving mood, and retreating from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Come join us and see how beautiful and calming nature can be!

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