Now that spring has finally arrived, we can all put away our heavy clothes and feel the warm breezes, walk among the early-blooming flowers, and breathe in the scents of blossoming trees. There is nothing like a fresh spring day to improve our moods and outlooks, which we’ve always known. Now scientists have research to explain the positive benefits we can reap from spending time outdoors. Here are 7 reasons earthing and being in nature are so good for you.
1. Earthing or grounding is the practice of placing our bodies in direct contact with the earth either by walking barefoot or lying in the grass. Though it might sound a bit mystical, scientists have demonstrated that placing our bodies in contact with the earth and its electrons can benefit our health. According to the National Institutes of Health, Earthing can improve our sleep, normalize our cortisol rhythm, reduce pain and stress, increase heart rate variability and wound healing, and reduce the stickiness of our blood. In other words, it can improve our physical and mental health immensely. Some experts recommend we spend 20 minutes per day in contact with the earth.
2. Even if you are not in direct contact with nature, you can receive many benefits. One is reduction of stress. Studies have shown that people who take walks in a natural setting versus a suburban or urban setting may enjoy lower blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormone levels, and anxiety and increased immune system functions and mood.
3. Spending time in nature can also make people less likely to dwell on negative thoughts about themselves. Scientists at Stanford found that people who took a 50-minute walk in nature experienced less anxiety and rumination and showed improved short-term memory and positive emotions.
4. Nature can also help reduce our attention fatigue. Our modern world of constant information overload from myriad screens causes us to develop mental fatigue and burnout. Spending time in nature, focusing on what is around us, taking in the natural environment, can restore our attention-paying abilities.
5. Being in nature can also improve our creativity. In a 2012 study, researchers found that hikers on a 4-day hike could solve significantly more puzzles requiring creativity than a group of people waiting to take that same hike. They believe it might be linked to attention restoration or differences in the ways our brains are activated when we view natural scenes.
6. Nature can make us feel kinder and more generous. In a series of studies at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers had subjects view nature scenes and then had them play games that measured generosity and kindness. Those who viewed the more beautiful scenes demonstrated increased positive impulses over the other group. People can also reap the psychological benefits of nature just by viewing it.
7. A lot of the studies have focused on people spending time in green spaces, but recent studies are demonstrating that we can also benefit from blue spaces, spending time near water. Whether you go swimming in a lake or the ocean, kayak or canoe, or take a walk in wetlands, you can see all of the same benefits people experience spending time in green spaces. We can even receive these benefits just by hearing water sounds. If you can’t be near a body of water or install a water feature in your home, you can still feel the positive effects from listening to audio recordings of water sounds.
As you look to the earth to help heal you, remember that eating natural foods is an essential part of a healthy journey. Aronia berries, with their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, are nature’s healer and protector. Superberries’ Organic Aronia berry products make it easy to incorporate Aronia berries into your everyday routine.