Want to boost your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing? Emerging research reveals that Vitamin N ‘nature’ can lower blood pressure and cortisol ‘stress’ levels as well as boost energy, creativity, mood and happy hormones.
There’s no doubt that 2020 enhanced our craving for nature. Over the last year, many of us have tuned into the power of being outdoors and with good reason. It’s now known that spending time in ‘greenspace’ will help to reduce the risk of all types of preventable lifestyle diseases including type II diabetes, poor heart health, anxiety and depression to name a few.
In fact, being in the wilderness was also listed as one of the top wellness trends for 2020.
It’s now prescribed for improving our mental wellbeing. As suggested by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) “Imagine going to your doctor and, instead of a prescription for some named or generic pharmaceutical, you instead receive a prescription for a 30-minute walk in nature. This is not actually that far-fetched. Put down the Prozac and pick up your walking shoes.”
Which brings us to the art of Forest Bathing, an amazing ancient practice from Japan that involves immersing in nature using all our senses. Translated from the Japanese word ‘shinrin yoku’, forest bathing is thought to be one of the best (and most affordable) antidotes for nature deficit disorder caused by our increasingly urban lifestyles.
However, the good news is we don’t have to live in the wilderness to reap the benefits from nature. Researchers from the University of Exeter in the UK found that two hours a week outdoors boosts our health. And according to John Norcross, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, just 30-minutes of ‘Vitamin N’ will increase our well-being.
Some go so far as to say that ‘Nature is the fix for Covid-19 stress.’
Medical News Today recently published an article on how the pandemic has influenced our relationship with nature. Nearly 60% of participants reported improved mental health and wellbeing after being outdoors. In another study by The University of Vermont, respondents said they had increased their participation in several outdoor activities during the pandemic, including: walking -— up 70% and wildlife watching — up 64%. Participants said they valued outdoor time for appreciating nature’s beauty as well as enhancing a feeling of connection to something bigger than themselves.
Feeling inspired? The good news is The Karma Group boasts several nature-centric resorts (see article below) as well as their newly launched Karma Nomad travel product.