To The Daily Sun,

If you’ve ever been stuck at a desk all day, you understand how hard it is to concentrate on the fluorescent light of your computer screen as your phone buzzes distractions in the corner of your vision. You probably go home feeling exhausted, and reflect on your day as less productive than you’d hoped. One of the reasons for this is because our bodies are genetically programed to be physical creatures that adapt to changes in our environment. Scientists have proven the benefits of spending time outdoors to be limitless, from improving your memory to improving your mood. In a world where “urbanization, stress, and the rise and influence of digital technology” are present in our daily lives, it’s important to disconnect and destress in the environment in which we were made for (Quora).

As an alternative to the expensive medicine and vitamins at the pharmacy, a simple 5-minute “forest bath” is a scientifically proven solution to your daily stress and loss of attention for no cost at all (immerse). You may wonder why you haven’t been told this sooner, but the reason is because businesses continue to develop new medicines in order to lure desperate, paying customers when much simpler solutions exist. The very activity we adapted to perform, surviving in nature, is the precise answer to all of our problems.

Since the 1980s, we’ve had the solution, but only recently have health professionals began to pick up on the significant benefits of spending time outdoors. Ever since Japan developed the term Shinrin-Yoku, which translates to “forest bathing,” research has continued to be conducted to show how beneficial a “walk in the park” really is (Brooklyn). Taking time to slow down and reconnect with your emotions and nature during your day is just as important, if not more, than sending a work email. It has been proven that spending time in any natural environment, whether it be a park in urban New York, or a forest in rural New Hampshire, can seriously improve “people’s physical, mental, and spiritual health” (Brooklyn).

This modern day preventative health and healing method has the capacity to: reduce stress, improve sleep, strengthen the immune system, increase happiness, lower blood pressure, improve mood, increase focus, accelerate recovery, increase energy levels, improve vision, decrease inflammation, and stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins. The fact that Americans spend an average of 93 percent of their time indoors, is proof enough that we need to limit our habitual usage of technology and be mindful of our surroundings and our bodies (Quora).

Whether you want to hike up Doublehead Mountain, go horseback riding, visit a local farmers market, walk or bike to school/work, or just go and sit in a nearby park, any activity that you do outside will strengthen your self control and attention skills. Nature has provided us with the answer to our medical, mental, and physical problems, and it is just steps away in a place filled with green.

Abigail Cole

Plymouth

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