Updated: Feb 27, 2021
Why is nature so important to human health? Intuitively we’ve always known how good time in nature feels. Recently researchers have exposed the health benefits of time in both green and blue expanses.
Time in nature is officially good for you. Believe it or not, forest bathing is popular in Japan, and in Europe where researchers are diving deep into what they call “Blue Health.”
In this article, we’ll explore some of the science-backed health benefits of nature to humans.
What is Nature in Simple Words?
When referring to nature in this context, we’re talking about the untouched natural environment. Areas that have had little, or no human intervention. Nature is the physical world - brimming with life and filled with motion, including sounds, smells, and sights.
What is “Blue Mind” Science
Being in a “blue mind state” describes feelings of happiness and satisfaction with the present moment -- a state of balance, optimal health, and well being. The blue mind state is felt when we are immersed in water, such as having a bath or swimming in a lake or ocean. A similar state of focus and calm is felt when walking down a beach or through a forest.
Blue Mind State vs Red Mind State
There’s a lot of talk about cell phone addiction, the dangers of blue light, over-stimulation, and pollution. The results of this electric energy are referred to as the red mind state. Spending too long indoors on devices and surrounded by man-made objects knocks the body out of balance. According to the American Psychological Association, over 90% of young adults are addicted to continually checking their mobile devices.
In contrast, spending time in nature brings our whole system back into harmony. Author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” as a way of describing the loss of connection with the natural world. The “red mind state” is the polar opposite of the “blue mind state”. Red is appropriately a color associated with fear and intense emotions. While blue is a color associated with depth and stability.
7 Health Benefits of Nature to Humans
Time in nature, whether by the ocean or in a forest calms the mind. Putting us into a blue mind state, similar to the brainwaves experienced during meditation. Here are seven ways that time in nature can improve health and well being: