Many research studies have confirmed that spending more time in nature has a positive effect on mood, wellness and depression. Making space in our schedules to walk, sit, read or hike through natural areas can have a deeply healing effect of our emotional health. It is a great balance to the time we spend in front of screens, in cubicles and cars, and near electrical devices.
Positive mental health directly influences our immune systems and our resistance to disease. Being calm collected and feeling healthy is an important part of being healthy. Nature is an easy and free way to influence our health.
Researchers have found that children who spend more time in nature have an easier time concentrating. Children who struggle to sit still and spend too much in classrooms might benefit greatly from having nature based outdoor time built into their regular routines.
One study, looking at office workers, found that workers who had access to windows, where natural landscapes could be seen, had higher overall job satisfaction and reported lower stress levels. Some of these changes were even seen when workers were simply exposed to images of nature. Had these same workers been given 15 minutes to walk in a natural landscape these effects might have been greatly amplified.
Charitably and kindness were measured by one group of researchers. They found that people who had recently spent time in green spaces were measurably kinder and more charitable.
Portland abounds with lovely green spaces where we can walk, run, bike, sit, read and soak in the nature. Make sure to take advantage of it while the weather is nice.