A recent review of hundreds of studies has found mounting evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship: Experiences with nature led to improvements in attention span, self-discipline, physical fitness & reducing stress.

There are two different major theories as to why nature is good for your brain, and one of them is called Stress Reduction Theory. Essentially, it speaks to how humans evolved in nature.

Because we humans have been surrounded by forests, flowers, and fauna for most of our existence, scientists believe there may be an evolutionary reason that nature feels to us like a comfortable, familiar place.

There’s also what’s called the Attention Restoration Theory which proposes that exposure to nature is not only enjoyable but can also help us improve our focus and ability to concentrate. Nature is simpler and less taxing than the crowds, lights, traffic and noise of city life. It just lets you kind of enjoy and restore your brain.

Nature & mood

Meanwhile, a group of students at Toronto’s University has found that nature breaks reduce their stress and make it easier for them to handle their workload.

Every week, they participate in Mood Routes, a program run in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, visit parks, greenhouses and nature trails all over Toronto, with the goal of boosting health and fitness, as well as improving their state of mind.

If appears that when you are immersed in nature your troubles go away.

Researchers at the University of Michigan say that taking at least 20 minutes out of your day to take a walk somewhere close to nature can lower your stress hormone levels.

For the greatest payoff, in efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.

Participants in the experiment were asked to spend 10 minutes or more in nature at least three times a week over eight months. The researchers took saliva samples to measure cortisol levels before and after the leisurely walks, which were taken without conversation or smartphone interruptions.

Students who are stressed, lonely, and exhausted become revitalized after visiting a garden, forest or park.

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