Spark

Perspectives, news, and announcements from the Center that will ignite your passion for wellbeing.

In the News: Experiences with nature good for your overall health

January 10, 2014

Nature can provide you with more than fresh air and a nice view. In fact, nature can enhance your overall health and wellbeing.

The Center for Spirituality & Healing’s Jean Larson, Ph.D., was featured in the December issue of Minnesota Health Care News and discussed nature’s health benefits.

In her article, Larson cited various studies while arguing that nature can help people in key areas by:

  • Reducing stress.
  • Enhancing immune function.
  • Improving cognition.

During the winter months, we often spend the majority of our time indoors. But even as we try our best to enjoy an active lifestyle despite these frigid temperatures, Larson outlined several ways to integrate nature into your daily life:

  1. Take nature breaks. Look into nature and allow your mind to relax.
  2. Get outdoors! While you’re outside turn off your mobile device and take time to truly appreciate nature.
  3. If you can’t get outside, purchase an app for your smartphone and relax to healing images of nature.
  4. Bring nature into your office by hanging a picture, downloading a computer wallpaper or buy a plant.
  5. Travel outside the lights of the city and gaze into the night sky.
  6. Go outside for a walk, ice skate or snowshoe on a local trail or park.
  7. Use greenery to create a table arrangement.
  8. Visit a local conservatory or arboretum.

Looking forward, Larson hopes areas like therapeutic horticulture and therapeutic landscape design will help people improve wellbeing.

Read more about the studies and their outcomes in the Minnesota Health Care News article (scroll to pages 26-27).

To learn more about nature-based therapeutics and how to improve your wellbeing, visit the Center’s website.

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The Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing blog covers a range of integrative health and wellbeing topics. For more information about our blog, contact us at csh@umn.edu