A lot of our daily lives revolves around some type of stress. Your entire bodily system is directly affected by your physical, mental and emotional stresses of your daily life. Stress has been directly related to illnesses such as heart disease and depression. Stress is also one of the leading causes of depression.
Is there such a thing as good stress? The good news and the answer to this, is YES!
So how can stress be good for you?
Good stress is the kind of stress you get when you get out of your comfort zone and get into nature. When you do something that gets your heart rate going and the adrenaline glands working. In todays automated world of technology and urban living, our bonds with nature have been fractured and people are more rushed, stressed, overweight and depressed than ever before. Real relaxation isn’t found on the couch. We live in a world where our monotony in everyday life has dulled our senses and our bodies are not able to release the build up of stress on a daily basis. Being outdoors also reconnects us with nature. Research has shown the profound effect that fresh air, plants, trees and natural outdoor elements have on our health and well being. When you spend time outdoors, especially being active, you can lift your mood, think more positively and feel more internal calm and greater harmony with the world around you. Studies have shown that being in a natural outdoor environment can raise your levels of Seratonin (a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our moods) rises when you are outside. One study found that regular outdoor runners were less anxious and depressed than people that ran indoors on a tread mill. They also had higher levels of post exercise endorphins (the feel good brain chemicals associated with a runners high). The time spent outdoors also helps to boost your immune system which is a critical aspect to overall health. Exposure to nature reduces pain and illness and speeds up recovery time. A study of postoperative patients showed that those who had rooms with a view of natural surroundings needed less pain medication and spent fewer days in the hospital than those who faced a brick wall. Research by Dr. David Lewis, the man who coined the term ‘road rage’ found that the scent of grass has a significant calming effect on out of control drivers. Fresh air is also very important for your lungs as it is rich in negative ions (oxygen molecules with an extra electron). These negative ions have been linked to improve your sense of well being, heightened awareness and alertness, decreased anxiety and a lower resting heart rate.
So after all of this, lets take a look at the benefits of the getting out in nature and doing a fun activity that is both mentally and physically challenging: