Why Does Nature Relieve Us Of Stress?

Images of a connection to nature always inspire us to peace, but have you ever wondered why nature relieves us of stress? Keep reading and we will answer this question.
Why does nature relieve us of stress?

Today, it is fashionable to go to the country just for a walk or a day trip. Hiking clubs, fall mushroom tours and hiking holidays have multiplied. Many of us are used to living in a city and its amenities, but what makes us want to spend time in such a different environment? Why does nature relieve us of stress?

Chronic stress is one of the most common reasons to go to a doctor and psychologist. We are all able to recognize that our current lifestyle produces us with several disadvantages that play against us in terms of relaxation. Let’s look at a few reasons why we look for so much natural embrace today to relax.

Stress is a temporary normal feeling, but city life can sometimes trick the body into believing that it is in constant danger.

Stress and its causes

Stress is a normal and adaptive feeling that helps us respond to emergencies, but city ​​life can sometimes trick the body into believing that it is living in constant danger.  Then we can already talk about chronic stress.

The roots of stress can be found in many different areas of life, both internal and external. The following is a list of a few reasons why stress can arise:

  • Biological tendency to stress: Some people become more emotionally active than others, which in turn favors the onset of stress in situations where others would not suffer from it.
  • Tough living conditions: Poverty, abuse and violent relationships, natural disasters or chronic illnesses are examples of stressful life situations that favor the chronicisation of stress.
  • Personality traits: Several different studies have found that certain personality traits, such as lack of self-confidence or impulsivity, are prone to chronic stress.
  • Food: While it may seem unlikely, poor eating habits are associated with the onset of stress. An example of this is the excessive consumption of caffeine and processed fats.
  • Environment: Excessive noise, congestion or lack of leisure are key factors that prevent us from relaxing, which also stresses our stress.

To find out why nature relieves us of stress, we need to pay attention to environmental factors. If you are interested in knowing if any of these terms apply to you, keep reading!

Why does nature relieve us of stress?

Our relationship with the environment is very complex. Thousands of factors are related to each other and to us, and it is often difficult to identify where the spiral has begun, whether it is due to either ourselves or some factor that affects us from the outside.

On the other hand, the model of modern life has evolved so much in recent centuries that it has made biology very complex. Factors such as the work environment, pollution, or rush can conflict with the body’s natural rhythm, and that’s where nature will work: each of them has a counterpart, which we’ll reveal below.

Listening to the silence

The noise around the city is constant: a neighbor who keeps making noise all the time, constant traffic, construction sites; we never get a break from the noise. In fact, the habit of these sounds becomes so normal to consciousness that silence even surprises us when the noise disappears.

In their research in the field, Alvarsson and his research team have compared how the two groups performed their task after the stressful stimulus offered to them. One of the groups heard the noise of the city environment and the other the other sounds of nature. The group working in the noise of the city performed much worse, so it was concluded that the sounds of nature help reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system – that is, the part of the nervous system that activates us when we perceive danger.

Loneliness is also essential

Man is a sociable species, and the company of other people – and animals too – is essential to us for our emotional well-being. Along the course of evolution, however, we have become accustomed to living in small groups, and this makes large crowds stress us. There have even been studies on the subject linking decreased fertility to overpopulation.

When we live in a natural environment, the mere fact that there are no people around favors a sense of intimacy and introspection. This, in turn, can become blurred when the interaction with other people is constant.

To understand why nature relieves us of stress, we need to pay attention to environmental factors

Pollution

When it comes to pollution in a big city, it cannot be limited to exhaust pollution alone, even though polluted air is considered to be one of the causes of the onset of stress and anxiety disorders.

We’ve already talked about excessive noise, but the importance of light pollution isn’t far behind : in large cities, it also affects the body and changes the circadian rhythm, which is usually controlled by sunlight.

As a medicine, a dose of nature

Finally, we mention a study commissioned by researcher Mary Carol R. Hunter, which showed that exposure for as little as 20 minutes to the natural environment is enough to reduce blood cortisol levels, even if this environment is located within a large city. The study was performed without electronic equipment, avoiding aerobic exercise and even reading. Only walking or sitting in a natural environment was enough for the results.

These new discoveries combine progress with the roots of biology and open the door to new ways to take care of health without sacrificing the conveniences of modern life.

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