It’s no surprise after long, cold winters in Maine, that all welcome the warm sunshine of the summer months. But, did you know there are actual mental health benefits to being in nature and even camping out in the wilderness?
“Humans have an innate attraction to other life and lifelike processes, which you can think of as healthy or pleasant nature,” states John Zelenski, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Carleton University.
To put it plainly, for millennia, being in nature and green spaces feels good to humans because it is known to facilitate health and survival. We are simply wired that way. Whether it’s five minutes out in nature, or a five-day camping and hiking retreat, many studies conducted over the years have shown several benefits to being in green spaces:
According to the “stress-reduction theory,” natural environments that include trees, streams, mountains and lakes are perceived to be much more pleasant and reduce cortisol levels.
People who spent at least two hours in nature each week report greater levels of overall well-being. Spending time away from technology and unplugging from life’s distractions allow for greater creative freedom and improved attention span. Those who immerse themselves in nature tend to feel a sense of revitalization.
Getting “back to our roots,” people who spend time in nature often feel a greater connection to others.
Based on these findings (and there are many more), consider planning your next adventure outside in nature. Going for a walk, a hike, driving in the mountains, or swimming in the ocean, will provide physical and mental health benefits for you and others who may decide to join you on your next adventure!