Natures visual images reduce stress

My siblings and I spent many weekends and summers playing in the woods of central Illinois. My sister and I could tread water in the “lakes” for hours. We would watch the water spider’s race across the surface of the lake. Then we would hop in our rowboat and head down the lake to find a perfect spot to pull over and check out a big croaking bullfrog or butterflies fluttering on some low hanging tree branches.

At the University of Michigan, researchers contend that the visual images in nature such as sunsets and streams reduce stress and mental fatigue. The stimuli allow our brains to wander, rest and recover according to Stephen and Rachel Kaplan. Take a moment to watch the sunset.

Nature nurtures us and boosts our mood:

  • Nature can improve creativity by up to 50%
  • Forest walks can decrease stress hormone by as much as 16%
  • A 50 minute walk in an arboretum improves short-term memory

From This is Your Brain on Nature

During the winter it takes more effort to see a sunset or watch the moonrise in the night sky, but making that effort is “well” worth it for our health.

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