As David Suzuki would say, “The human brain now holds the key to our future." So get outside. Get someplace peaceful and use your head. At least that's was I keep telling myself.
It’s a commonly prescribed remedy for stress and anxiety, spending time in nature has more health benefits than we think. Especially those benefits associated with our brain.
Stanford University’s Gregory Bratman recently conducted a study that proves walking through nature physically changes the way blood flows to the brain. Bratman studied two groups of individuals. He studied the amount of blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex – specifically during the morbid rumination stage (where we brood/overthink all of the flaws in our lives). He tested these groups when a) walking along a busy highway (sucks to be them) and b) walking outside amongst nature.
Not surprisingly, "Those who walked through the quiet, greenery-enclosed spaces saw slight but significant improvements in their mental health, based on their questionnaire scores. There was also a decrease in blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex."
SOURCE: The New York Times | Study: Science Direct
A few years ago, I was going through a breakup, also at which time I had turned into a total workaholic... When I look back at myself during this time, I picture myself as a shade of grey, from lack of sunshine, with a permanent 'screen face' from staring at a computer screen for 15 hours a day... I digress.
For months leading up to 'the end' of my relationship, I had been feeling an intense urge to be in nature. I would walk my Aussie (Australian Shepherd) down to the beach each day and look out to the beautiful mountains that grace my Vancouver home. The energy I felt from being there, heart open to the mountains, always helped... Yet, I still longed to be fully emerged within nature. Surrounded by green life.
The next next day after the breakup – cause let's be honest I was too busy eating ice cream in my pajamas the 'next' day – I packed up my furbaby companion and headed to the UBC trails.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park healed my soul that day.
I would love to hear about your nature healing stories, please leave me a comment below.
Founder of Be Inspired. Coffee addict. Brain enthusiast.