The benefits of nature

Taking a relaxing walk in the countryside on a sunny Autumn day, it’s almost impossible not to notice the beauty in the surrounding nature. The changing colour of the leaves, the way the sunlight catches the dew on the spider’s webs, the plump, ripe berries on the trees, sometimes the beauty can be breathtaking. Not only does nature look beautiful, but it also has an amazing impact on our health. Just being outside in the fresh air and admiring the sights and sounds around us is incredibly beneficial to our bodies and minds. After a wonderful brisk walk through the woods on a crisp day, you can’t help but feel re-vitalised and more optimistic about life.

A recent study has proven that by engaging in nature on a daily basis can lower high blood pressure, reduce heart rate, lower anxiety and increase feelings of life satisfaction and happiness. It is also incredibly beneficial for children, it can increase their ability to focus, reduce disruptive behaviour, improves decision making.

Actively interacting with nature is also beneficial to the natural world, as we are more likely to look after our local environment and become more aware of our actions on the natural world. By spending time enjoying the natural habitat around us, we will want to protect it for the future.

I love spending time outside either walking with a group of like-minded friends or playing in the woods with my children. The kids love having the freedom to explore and discover all the interesting gifts that nature leaves for us.

I’d like to set you a challenge for the week, particularly while the weather is so good. Make a note of how you are feeling now and then aim to get outside everyday and interact with nature. Whether that is going to feed the ducks (apparently they like frozen peas, lettuce and oats), exploring the woods while looking for conkers or climbing trees. Finally at the end of the week, reassess how you are feeling and let me know what happens.