Wellness Tip Of The Month
Recent research is discovering the myriad of ways that nature benefits our well-being, health, and relationships.
According to an article by Kristophe Green and Dacher Keltner (via the Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley), over 100 studies have shown that being in nature, living near nature, or even viewing nature in paintings and videos can have positive impacts on our brains, bodies, feelings, thought processes, and social interactions. Experiencing nature can produce a cascade of position emotions and calm our nervous systems. This in turn helps us cultivate greater openness, creativity, connection, generosity, and resilience.
Several studies have looked at how viewing awe-inspiring nature imagery in photos and videos impacts emotions and behavior. People who live near green spaces - lawns, parks, trees-show reductions in ADHD symptoms and greater calm, as well as a stronger sense of connection to neighbors, more civility, and less violence in their neighborhoods. We intuitively understand that access to nature - either by living near it or viewing it - reduces stress.
Studies have found that people who report feeling a good deal of awe and wonder, and an awareness of the natural beauty around them actually show lower levels of a biomarker (IL-6) that could lead to a decreased likelihood of cardiovascular disease, depression, and autoimmune disease.
In our modern technology-obsessed world, everyone from teenagers to seniors are experiencing the harmful effects of too much screen time, too much internet surfing and social media, and too much electronic stimulation. Now, as the research shows, the time we spend on our phones and computers is doubly negative - it also keeps us away from nature, which heals us and improves our emotional states.
With all of this in mind, we at Eye Care Hawaii recommend that all of our patients spend time each day in nature. Go for a walk, play outdoors, and enjoy our beautiful part of the world.