The Stress-Relieving Power of Nature

​There’s nothing like warmer weather and longer days to put a smile on your face. Summer is getting closer, and more people will start getting outside to soak up the sun. Did you know being in nature, or even enjoying the view outside your window, decreases feelings of negative emotions? Negative emotions such as fear, anger, and resentment can be left behind, substituting moments of restoration, calm, and an increase in pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it contributes to your physical well-being by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Here are some actions you can take to be in nature as the weather heats up:

  1. Play in the dirt. Getting in your own backyard is a great way to escape for a few hours. Start a garden around your home and fill it with flowers, vegetables, and other plants.
  2. Talk a walk. Whether it’s around the block or on a trail, walk around and take in the scenery. You can invite a friend or take your pet to enjoy the walk with you.
  3. Let nature inspire you. There’s nothing like seeing a beautiful summer sunset! It’s even better when you can capture it in a photo to create a long-lasting memory. If you’re creative, consider painting the scenery and enjoy the process.
  4. Exercise outside. Exercise is a great way to get outside. Whether it’s going for a run, yoga in the backyard, or stretching out your muscles, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the day.
  5. Enjoy the animals. If you have the option, get a bird feeder so you can watch the birds and squirrels enjoy a buffet of treats.

If you are struggling with your mental well-being, call 615-936-1327 to schedule a confidential appointment, free of charge with one of our EAP Counselors. Work/Life Connections-EAP is the VUMC program focused on elevating your psychological resilience.