Our society has pulled away from nature significantly in this past generation. Nature-deficit disorder is even a thing now – the idea that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors and the belief that this change results in a wide range of behavioural problems.

During your EPIC Life Assessment, we ask clients how much time they spend outdoors. While this one isn’t incredibly obvious, being in nature actually does have incredible health benefits and is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Nature is a foundation of human beings and one of the pillars to our EPIC life philosophy.

What happens when we don’t spend enough time in nature?

Research has discovered various effects the lack of nature has on our health. One of the most obvious one is low levels of Vitamin D. Since Vitamin D is manufactured in your skin when you are exposed to sunlight, by avoiding the outdoors you automatically reduce your exposure to the sun. Low levels of Vitamin D can lead to decreased energy, a weakened immune system, and moodiness.

Your memory takes a big hit if you don’t get outdoors and can lead to an inability to focus for long periods of time so your productivity decreases. When our productivity is low, we tend to get stressed out and angry with ourselves for being unable to complete tasks. As a result, it can have a ripple effect, not only on your business or career, but on your mental health as well.

Speaking of stress, it has been proven that nature does contribute to lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress. One study found that people sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol than those who spent that same time in a city.

Needless to say, when we feel stressed out, unproductive, and have low energy, it takes a toll on our work, social life, relationships, and mental state. We end up staying in even more, avoiding challenging projects and exciting adventures. We stop living and experiencing the best parts the world has to offer.

What are the health benefits of nature?

THERE ARE SO MANY! I’m not even kidding. After years of researching this subject, I keep on getting surprised by how incredible nature is for our health. Here are just 10 of them as an example:

  1. Lower stress and anxiety
  2. Increased microbial diversity
  3. Short-term memory improvement
  4. Inflammation reduction
  5. Increased energy
  6. Lower blood pressure
  7. Better focus
  8. Creativity boost
  9. Stronger immune system
  10. Longer lifespan and we are KINDER!

Even just looking at pictures of nature is proven to reduce anger, stress and anxiety. In addition to the mental health benefits, getting some fresh air improves your sleep patterns, your eye health and boosts your immunity with a healthy dose of Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone!).

My personal favorite part of being in nature is the inspiration I get from it. When there are no distractions around, you get a great sense of wonder, you feel spiritually aligned, you are grounded, you are in the MOMENT! That feeling of WOW is what you can definitely expect from nature.

The best part of connecting with nature is that it is so simple. Open a window, explore your community, go for a walk or a hike- just get outside! There so much to see and be inspired by.

With so much science-backed data on the benefits of nature, we simply could not ignore the importance of getting outdoors with our clients and community. Join us for these fun, exhilarating and community-centric activities. We host free hikes and forest bathing sessions every month and would love to have you join us. Check out our upcoming events below.