Wow, I love spring! Everything just comes to life. Right now there are so many beautiful trees with white flowers, and the aroma is awesome. It seems that not only does the trees, grass, flowers come to life but so do we. Well there is a reason for that.
When you take a stroll outdoors, do you ever wonder why it makes you feel so good? Connecting with nature can actually improve your health and well-being.
This theory that contact with nature restores health is called ecotherapy. ScienceDaily reported that, according to the 2000 census, American office workers spend an average of 52 hours per week at their desks or workstations (May 19, 2008). Studies on job satisfaction have shown that workers who spend longer hours in office environments—often under artificial light in windowless offices—report reduced job satisfaction and increased stress levels. Employees with window views of nature, however, had less job stress and a better overall well-being.
Lawrence St. Leger, in the September 2003 Health Promotion International journal , cites many different studies showing that having a window with a view of nature improved the lives of office workers, prisoners in cells and hospital patients. Blood pressure, stress levels and cholesterol decreased, while outlook on life improved when spending time in nature.
Studies have also proven how effective being outside is for children. Dr. Stephen R. Kellert of Yale University devotes a chapter to the subject of "Nature and Childhood Development" in his book Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection (2005). Dr. Kellert states, "Play in nature, particularly during the critical period of middle childhood, appears to be an especially important time for developing the capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and emotional and intellectual development" (p. 83).
On the contrary, where do most of our young people spend their time? That's right, in front of a computer, laptop or smart phone. Contrary to when I was growing up, all kids spent their time outside, playing, riding bike and so forth. I even remember building mud pies. Of course the mud pies were not good for human consumption. But they were fun to make.
When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the midst of a beautiful garden. God created the colors, sounds and smells to promote calm, serenity and well-being. They were not stuck inside!
Spending time in nature puts us in a state of awe of how great God is and in wonderment of how God created all of it! We simply cannot fathom it all. King David spent many hours in God's creation, reflecting on Him. He wrote, "Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done.." (Psalm 40:5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. See All...).
Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (Psalm 40:5Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. See All... NKJV).
In God's creation, we meet Him in a new and powerful way. So turn off the TV, get off the couch, go outside during lunch break and take long walks that will draw you even closer to God. It is not only good for your spirit and your relationship with God, but it's also good for your physical and mental health.
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