Why we need nature

If you are one of those people whose mind unexpectedly drifts off at work, just to suddenly find yourself in the middle of a breath-taking adventure, stranded on a deserted island chasing for items to survive or sailing on a boat, riding a horse, being chased by a T-Rex… before being brutally teleported out of your little fantasy and back into reality by that nagging sound on your computer, then congratulations!

You were daydreaming.

According to some studies, 75% of workers in “boring jobs” daydream. That doesn’t mean that your job is boring. However, it means you are in good company!

Every day our body and mind sends us signals that we tend ignore. We are meant to be connected to nature, but our way of life has made that very difficult, especially when you live in a big city.

There is even a word for it:

Solastalgia: “the homesickness you have when you are still at home”.

Or “biophilia”, which is a hypothesis that suggests that “humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.”

“Nature has some other cool tricks up its sleeve”

Indeed, going out into nature comes with a surprising plethora of benefits. And I’m not just talking about the “usual suspects”.

Sure, hiking reduces heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. It extends our lifespan and improves our quality of life. It can even reduce depression, anxiety and anger.

But nature has some other cool tricks up its sleeve. It also activates our senses!

When surrounded by nature, humans can track scents on a trail like dogs and develop bat-lake echolocation!

While you may not be planning to navigate blindfolded like a bat, this shows how deeply rooted our connection with nature is.

 

“Once you’ve seen the truth, there is no going back.”

Every day away from nature makes us less agile, less healthy and less happy.

The solution? You don’t have to quit your job and move into a log cabin on a mountain (yet).

Taking the time for a stroll in the local park and observing the trees, flowers and animals can go a long way. And if you can find the time,  go on a short hike.

Or go to a national park and find a simple route that is suited for beginners (it is best to inquire with your local or national park service) and just go for an easy stroll, maybe even just for half an hour, and see how your mood changes.

If you need some inspiration and you’re in Italy, check out this page.

It’s like being offered the red pill on The Matrix.

Once you’ve seen the truth, there is no going back.

Or in this case, once you experienced raw nature, you won’t want to go back to your normal life.

Are you planning to go on a hike? Or do you remember the first one? Do you have an inspiring story to share?

Let me know in the comments below!

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