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How Connecting With Nature Benefits Our Mental Wellbeing

Written by James, Plant Lover

We’re repeatedly told to get out in nature. We’re told that nature is a necessary medicine for our busy, plugged-in lives. We’re told about forest bathing, rambling, and beachcombing. So we listen. We begrudgingly heave on our walking boots and go for a walk–and it works. But life inevitably gets in the way, and we don’t go on another walk for two weeks or more. Our walking boots begin to collect dust at the back of the shoe cupboard.

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Connecting with nature could be the key to happiness

Studies have long shown that being immersed in the natural world is good for the soul. There’s nothing quite like being around the calming sounds of birdsong and rustling leaves while inhaling the fresh countryside air. Unfortunately, our modern lives make it increasingly difficult to enjoy such simple pleasures. Many of us spend long hours at work or school and our weekends catching up on whatever we didn’t do in the week. With around 56% of the world’s population living in cities, finding the time and energy to indulge in some eco-therapy isn’t as simple as it should be. Urban areas are expanding, so green spaces are becoming less accessible.

According to research, spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing, making it sound like a much more manageable feat.

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How connecting with nature can promote good mental health

Feeling disconnected from the natural world is an unfortunate result of modern-day life. But it doesn’t have to be. James started The Stem to reconnect people to nature through gardening and plants. We believe it’s an accessible way for people to feel closer to the natural world without necessarily living close to it. Creating your own indoor jungle or garden sanctuary can be a simple solution to enjoying the benefits that nature can have on us. You don’t always have to go wandering through a vast forest to feel the positive effects–any green space will do.

Being in nature reduces stress and anxiety

Being in nature helps you slow down and unwind; studies have shown that it can slow your heart rate, making you feel less stressed or anxious. Everything is just much calmer and less overstimulating in natural spaces. Picture a woodland path compared to a busy high street or a flower meadow compared to a shopping centre. Which settings are more likely to reduce your stress and which are more likely to heighten it?

Nature can improve concentration and productivity

Research has found that looking at something green–whether through a window, on a walk or via an image–can help improve attention and concentration. Going for a walk in a green space during your work break can help refresh your mind and help you power through the rest of the work day. Indoor plants can even do the trick!

Nature walks keep you active

We can all relate to the feeling of pure contentment and satisfaction after hitting the gym or going for a run. Exercising makes you feel productive, improves your self-esteem, and clears your mind. Spending time in nature often means doing a fair amount of walking, and this physical activity releases cortisol which helps us manage stress.

Being in nature makes you more creative

Nature can inspire us and spark our creativity. Think of how many famous writers and artists were inspired by things like flowers, woodlands, and the ocean, from Henry David Thoreau to Claude Monet. Many people consider having a creative outlet an important part of maintaining a healthy mind. So if you’re one of them, you might be able to combat the creative block by taking a stroll!

Nature can help you getter a better night’s sleep

Sleep is essential for good mental health, yet one in six Brits are getting less than six hours of sleep per night. Nature can help us achieve a better sleep routine by reducing our stress levels (therefore, banishing the stress-induced thoughts that keep us up at night). Spending more time in nature also keeps us active and provides us with vitamin D, which are both brilliant for achieving a healthy sleep pattern.

The Stem & The Benefits of Indoor Plants

Mental health holds a special place in the hearts of the team at The Stem. If you are interested in the history and story of our company, head over to the ‘About Us’ page on our website, which can be found here.

Happiness can stem from plants!

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