Health and Stress: Nature is a Natural Stress Reducer and Productivity Booster

Walking in natureHow do you relax and unwind when you’ve been focusing for a prolonged period of time on a project or studying for a big exam? Many people grab a large latte and figure the caffeine will re-energize them. That usually backfires. The caffeine dehydrates you and depletes your adrenals so you end up with less energy and focus. Sometimes we just opt to push ourselves to keep going and at times that may work out ok.

One of the most effective ways to truly give your brain a much needed break and refresh yourself is to spend some time in nature. Take even a short walk in the fresh air among trees and plants and studies showed that performance on memory and attention tests improved by 20%. When people took a short walk down a busy city street there was no boost in brain power.

What if you are in the middle of a big city? Then what? Researchers did a follow up study and had participants take a break for 10 minutes in a quiet room to look at pictures of a nature scene. Again, they found that cognitive performance improved after the nature break, even though it was only on paper! Even though the boost wasn’t as great as when participants actually took the walk among the trees, it was more effective than walking on a busy city street.

If you’re wondering why this is so, the researchers concluded that you exercise different types of attention when walking through nature and on a busy city street. When you have to be aware of crosswalks, pedestrians and traffic, this is directed attention, which can be depleted. When you are walking in nature, you engage involuntary attention, which doesn’t require intense focus. We can relax, talk, notice the trees and landscape and just enjoy the walk. It is refreshing.

So I would recommend making up a folder or booklet of nature pictures you especially love or create an album online and when you can’t get out in nature for a break, take a 10 minute nature break wherever you are and reap the benefits!
(Thank you Debbie Wilson for reading the previous post and asking the question that led to researching this post!)

How does spending time in nature affect you?

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About amusico

I am a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. All my coaching plans are based on my 3-D Living program and a big part of that are the Youngevity Products and Supplements I proudly offer! Visit my website at and learn more about the products and my coaching plans!
This entry was posted in Brain health, Emotional Health, Heart Health, Overall Health and Wholeness and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Health and Stress: Nature is a Natural Stress Reducer and Productivity Booster

  1. Very interesting.  I love nature and i certainly feel more relaxed when I’m in nature. 

    Have a Victorious Day!  Marianne

    Sent via phone so please excuse typos and brevity.

  2. Holly says:

    Great post, Ann. I’ve never considered that there was a difference, but it makes sense. I always feel refreshed after spending time in nature.

  3. Pingback: Health and Wholeness: Getting Back to Nature | 3-D Vitality

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