The importance of nature is well established, yet still somehow highly under-rated in our busy, technology-driven lives. But what is nature?

Nature is everything that exists in the natural environment, such as plants, animals, rocks, rivers, oceans, and the atmosphere. Including you and I.

It’s beautiful, diverse, and complex, and is a source of inspiration, wonder, healing, and awe for many people. Without it, we simply wouldn’t exist. With it, we can thrive beyond imagination.

The more time I spend in it the better off I am. I suspect it’s that way for everyone.

Nurtured by Nature
🍃Biodiversity ensures the stability and health of the environment.
🍃Nature provides  clean air and water, pollination of crops, climate regulation, and disease control.
🍃Nature acts as buffers against climate change.
🍃It improves physical and mental health in people.
The Importance of Nature
Crystal Mountain, Washington State

The Importance of Nature in Our Life

Spending time in nature is essential to our happiness. Having grown up in Alaska I learned the value of time outside from an early age. I need to be outdoors on a regular basis and can get a little grumpy if it doesn’t happen.

Spending time outside, for everyone, on a regular basis can provide a wide range of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Here are 27 reasons for the importance of nature, 27 positive effects of nature on human beings.

  1. Reduces stress and anxiety.
  2. Boosts your mood and increases feelings of happiness.
  3. Improves your overall health and well-being.
  4. Improves cognitive function and boost creativity.
  5. Improves immune function and reduce inflammation.
  6. Helps you feel more relaxed and at ease.
  7. It provides a break from technology and screens, which can be beneficial for mental health.
  8. Offers opportunities for exercise and physical activity, which can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of obesity.
  9. It can provide a sense of connection to something larger than oneself.
  10. Helps improve sleep quality.
  11. It provides an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the natural world.
  12. Increases self-awareness and promotes personal growth.
  13. It offers a chance to disconnect from the business of daily life and connect with oneself.
  14. Promotes mindfulness and present-moment awareness.
  15. It offers a sense of awe and wonder, which can be spiritually uplifting.
  16. Improves social connections and foster a sense of community.
  17. Offers a sense of adventure and exploration, which can be exciting and invigorating.
  18. Provides a sense of calm and tranquility.
  19. It offers opportunities to connect with wildlife and appreciate biodiversity.
  20. Helps to reduce symptoms of depression.
  21. It can provide a sense of purpose and meaning.
  22. Increases energy levels and reduces fatigue.
  23. It offers an opportunity for self-reflection and introspection.
  24. Nature can provide a source of inspiration and creativity.
  25. It offers an opportunity to disconnect from the stresses of work and daily life.
  26. Promotes a sense of gratitude and appreciation.
  27. It can offer a sense of freedom and liberation.
Central Park in early fall
Central Park, New York

Why does nature make us happy?

Nature has a profound effect on us. It enhances our emotional well-being, and numerous studies have shown that it can make us feel happier. One reason for this is that being in nature can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

The natural environment offers a peaceful and tranquil setting that allows us to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower cortisol levels, a hormone that is associated with stress.

Exposure to sunlight and Vitamin D production is another reason why nature makes us happy. Sunlight can also help increase the production of serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood and helps us feel happier.

Another reason why nature makes us happy is that spending time in nature can help improve physical health. Activities such as hiking, walking, spelunking and gardening can help increase physical activity levels and improve overall health.

Improved physical health can have a positive effect on mental health and well-being.

Being outdoors can also help us feel more connected to the natural world, which can promote a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Many people, myself included, find nature to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, which can have a positive effect on mood and well-being.

The natural world offers a range of landscapes, colors, and textures. Whether it’s the sound of a babbling brook, the sight of a majestic mountain, or the scent of a blooming flower, nature provides us with a multi-sensory experience that can lift our spirits and make us feel happier.

Snow Lake, Snoqualmie Pass
Snow Lake, Snoqualmie Pass

How can you spend more time in nature?

Spending time in nature doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Simply taking a few moments to step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the beauty of the natural world can be a great way to improve your mental and physical well-being.

  • Plan outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, or kayaking. These activities are not only fun but also allow you to explore nature and spend time in fresh air.
  • Give green fitness or green exercise a try. This is a relatively new buzzword but not a new concept. Take your exercise outside, anything from going for a run instead of the treadmill to joining a fitness class in the park. Or even yoga on a paddle board if you’re feeling adventurous!
  • Take a walk in a nearby park or nature reserve. Walking is a simple and easy way to get outside and enjoy nature.
  • Gardening can also be a rewarding outdoor hobby, as you get to watch your plants grow and produce nutrient-rich fruits or vegetables.
  • Take your meals outside and enjoy the fresh air and scenery. This can be as simple as having a picnic in a park or sitting on your balcony or porch.
  • Join a nature group or club in your community. This is a great way to meet new people, learn about nature, and participate in outdoor activities together.
  • Reduce your screen time and make an effort to spend more time outdoors. Try to limit your use of electronic devices and spend more time reading, walking, or engaging in other activities outside.

How can you spend time outdoors in the city?

Living in a crowded city can make it challenging to spend time in nature, but there are still ways to get outside and enjoy the natural world, to find peace if you need it. Here are some tips for how people who live in more urban areas can spend more time with nature.

  • Most cities have parks and green spaces where you can enjoy nature. Take a stroll, have a picnic, or simply sit and enjoy the scenery.
  • Many cities have hiking trails within a short drive or public transportation ride. Do some research to find nearby trails and plan a day trip to get out of the city and into nature.
  • Botanical gardens are a great way to experience nature in an urban environment. They often have a variety of plants and flowers from around the world, and many offer guided tours and events.
  • Community gardens are often available in urban areas where people can come together to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This is a great way to get your hands dirty, enjoy some fresh air, and be a part of a community.
  • Rent a bike or use your own to explore your city’s bike paths or to venture out to nearby natural areas. Biking can be a fun and active way to experience nature in an urban environment.
  • Look for local nature organizations or clubs that host events or volunteer opportunities. These groups often offer guided nature walks or clean-up efforts that provide a chance to learn more about local ecosystems and connect with like-minded individuals.

Remember, spending time in nature doesn’t have to be an all-day excursion, and even a few minutes of fresh air and greenery can provide significant benefits for your mental and physical health.

Inexpensive vacations to spend time in nature

Lake Serene in Winter
Lake Serene, Washington State

There are many inexpensive vacations you can take to spend time in nature.

Camping is a classic way to enjoy nature and it can be very affordable. All you need is a tent and some basic camping equipment, and you can stay in a national park, state park, beach or even a local campground.

Many hiking trails are free to access, and all you need is a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. You can find hiking trails in national parks, state parks, and even in your local area.

A beach vacation can be a great way to enjoy nature and relax. Many beaches are free to access, or at a very low cost.

Taking a road trip can be a fun and inexpensive way to see different parts of nature. You can camp along the way, explore national parks, and enjoy scenic drives.

If you don’t want to travel far, you can still enjoy nature by taking a staycation. Find a local park or nature reserve and spend the day hiking, picnicking, or enjoying a nature walk.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy nature. There are many affordable options available that can help you get outside and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.

More expensive outdoor adventures

There are many vacations all over the world that allow you to spend quality time in nature. All you need to do is choose one that appeals to your interests and budget.

The United States has many beautiful national parks where you can spend time in nature. Some popular ones include Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon. You can take a trip to one of them and camp or stay in a nearby hotel for the weekend.

Spending time at the beach is a great way to enjoy nature. Consider visiting beaches like Hawaii, the Caribbean, or the Maldives for a beautiful and relaxing beach vacation. Portugal has some wonderful beaches and is less expensive than many other overseas destinations.

A mountain getaway can be a great way to enjoy nature and get some exercise. You can go hiking, mountain biking, or skiing, depending on the time of year and location. Here again, you can camp or stay indoors at a hotel or rental depending on your preferences.

Glamping, or glamorous camping, allows you to experience nature while still enjoying modern amenities like a comfortable bed and hot shower. Glamping destinations can be found all over the world.

Rent a kayak or canoe and explore a nearby lake or river. This is a great way to get exercise, enjoy nature, and see wildlife.

Stay in a unique accommodation like a treehouse to immerse yourself in nature. This is a fun and memorable way to experience the natural world. There are many such treehouses popping up all over the world and while expensive, it is certainly a unique experience.

How does spending time in nature effect humans?

Being in nature can help reduce stress levels by lowering the production of the stress hormone cortisol, boosting mood and decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Nature-based activities like hiking, cycling, and swimming can increase physical activity levels, which can lead to improved cardiovascular health and lower risk of chronic diseases. It has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of hypertension.

Exposure to natural light during the day and darkness at night can help regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle, leading to better sleep quality. Spending time in outside tends to decrease the amount of time you spend in front of a screen, which also improves sleep quality.

Spending time in nature has been linked to improved immune function, possibly due to lowered stress levels and increased physical activity. It has also been linked to lower levels of inflammation in the body, which is associated with a wide range of chronic diseases.

Essentially, spending time in nature helps you age better, whatever your age.

How does nature contribute to environmental health?

Nature plays a critical role in maintaining environmental health through its ecosystems, which provide essential services such as air and water purification, soil fertility, carbon sequestration, and climate regulation.

Forests, oceans, rivers, and wetlands, for example, act as natural filters that clean the air and water, while plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate climate change.

Preserving natural habitats is crucial for the survival of many species and for maintaining the Earth’s biodiversity, which is vital for ecological resilience and the continuation of natural processes.

Why is ecological balance important, and how does nature maintain it?

Ecological balance is vital for the sustainability of life on Earth. It ensures that natural cycles, such as the water cycle, nutrient cycles, and food chains, operate effectively, maintaining the health of ecosystems.

Nature maintains ecological balance through biodiversity; a wide variety of species ensures that ecosystems can recover from disturbances, adapt to changes, and provide habitat and resources for wildlife.

Predators, for example, help control the population of other species, preventing any single species from overwhelming an ecosystem. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are crucial for the reproduction of many plants, including crops, thus supporting food security.

Understanding the importance of nature is fundamental to promoting conservation efforts and sustainable living practices. Acknowledging our dependence on the natural world is the first step towards taking action to protect it for future generations.

The Importance of Nature FAQs

Why is it important to connect with nature?

Connecting with nature on a regular basis improves both your physical and mental health.

What are 3 good things about nature?

Spending time in nature lowers stress, improves mood and leads to increased physical activity.

What does nature give us?

Nature gives us fresh air, water, food, fresh perspectives and resources to create the things we use in every day life.

Why is nature important?

Nature is essential for our survival, wellbeing, and quality of life. It is up to us to protect and preserve it for future generations.

What are the benefits of spending time in nature?

Spending time in nature has many benefits, including reducing stress, improving mood, boosting the immune system, and increasing physical activity.

Final Thoughts: Benefits of Nature

Spending time in nature on a regular basis can have numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, boost cognitive function, increase creativity, and enhance overall well-being.

Nature nurtures. It has a calming effect on the mind and body, and being in natural surroundings can help reduce the level of stress hormones like cortisol in the body. This can lead to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression.

In addition, spending time in nature can provide an opportunity for physical activity, such as hiking or walking, which can help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles and bones, and aid in weight management.

Thus, regular exposure to nature can make a positive difference in your over-all well-being. Connecting with it, and connecting with yourself in the process, is one of the most rewarding ways to spend time on yourself.