Have you ever noticed that it is difficult to be angry or depressed when you are out in nature? Hearing the birds chirp, seeing a chipmunk gather nuts, smelling the freshness of the air... In nature, the world seems to just slow down. Troubles seem to melt away. There is just something so magical about it.
We have all known this intuitively, but science is now collecting evidence that, indeed, nature is good for your brain, and for your body.
Studies now show that there is less depression among those that live with trees near, or a garden, or flowers. Of course, getting out into more greener spaces is better, but in the city, trees and gardens definitely help.
Countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Sweden, for example, have healing forests or even virtual nature spaces to help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. Doctors are now even prescribing such nature “therapies” to help with these ailments.
I think everyone should be in nature, especially our children.
If you were to schedule regular times to take your child into nature and explore all that it has to offer, her happy neurotransmitters would increase in production, her busy mind would slow and become more focused. Nature can even improve emotional IQ as one can express gratitude and feelings of love more readily when close to nature. Start early in life, and avoid or prevent all of the mental problems of our urban grey existence.
A few years ago, I made the decision to move to the Carolinian Forest and be right in the middle of nature. We used to come often, and I never wanted to leave to go back to the city. My desk is now in front of a 6X6 window where I can watch nature, birds, chipmunks, squirrels, deer, rabbits, and raccoons all day long… I often glance up from my computer and smile at all the beauty outside. Melts all worries away.
Every morning, I have my coffee at the beach on Lake Erie, rain, snow, or shine, because I know how wonderful I feel after that time. I listen to the waves crash on shore, and to the birds singing behind me. I even have a beach desk that I have made so that I can do my writing there on good weather days. The world's nicest office space!
My children and I walk daily and go exploring the wilderness and the beaches as much as possible. They often comment on how great their day was when nature was included, and show much more gratitude now that we have incorporated nature into our routine.
Your goal, if you are following me, is to create a brainiac child that has unstoppable confidence, happiness, and great self-esteem for life. Having your child regularly exposed to nature one, takes them away from electronics, two, gets them off their butts, and three, has the benefits of meditation and music all in one. Even if your child does not exhibit depression or anxiety yet, the numbers are on the rise and is staggering. Why not just prevent it before it happens? I know not everyone can move to the country, but everyone could go for a walk in a green space, start a garden, explore beaches, climb trees, plant trees in the yard, make a flower bed, explore streams, lift a rock to explore beneath. The green world is truly amazing. Some of my best memories as a child were in nature because that is where we feel the best. Makes sense though doesn't it? We evolved in nature, not in brick and asphalt.
I assure you that getting your child into nature as much as possible takes effort, time, and sometimes planning, but is worth every second. Your child will be happy, smart, calm, gracious, and…