Nourishing Nature – Free Mood-Enhancement

Recently I looked a little more into the scientific reasons why being in nature feels so good. It was pretty fascinating.

Here are some things I discovered…

Microbes in the soil positively impact our serotonin profile. Being around, and touching, soil boosts our mood.

In a forest, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals emitted by plants. Phytoncides help plants fight disease. When we inhale these, our bodies increase the number and activity of natural killer cells. This helps our immune system. It’s amazing, right. What beautiful interconnectivity.

There are more negative ions in the atmosphere in nature, especially in forests, mountains and around moving water, including after a rainstorm. When we inhale these negative ions, it’s really good for us. It produces biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin, helping us to feel better and helping to reduce stress and depression. Negative ions also increase oxygen flow to the brain which promotes mental alertness.

Enjoying nature allows the cognitive part of our brain to take a break. It counteracts attention fatigue, ie when we have over-focused.

This scientific understanding is pretty cool. But we are, in fact, our own scientist. We already know, from our own experience, how beneficial nature is. Our ‘mind-body-feelings’ is a wise guidance system that tells us everything we need to know. Let’s listen. Let’s pay attention. And let’s get out into the woods more!