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  • Writer's pictureIEP Urgent Care

Spend Some Time in Nature to Reduce Stress

young woman appreciating nature while out on a hike, sitting down amongst birch trees

Sometimes, stress is good. It can motivate you to act when needed, such as when you need to get in front of a crowd to speak, or if you need to take quick action to avoid an accident on the road. A variety of life events can cause chronic stress, which untreated, can cause a variety of physical and mental health problems.

Understanding the difference between acute and chronic stress and then learning how to manage stress is an important cornerstone of good physical and mental health. Here’s a good article that explains the difference between good and bad stress in more detail.

Chronic stress can cause fatigue, irritability, headaches, insomnia, or physical ailments such as nausea, body aches and pains not associated with physical exertion, or digestive issues. If you have any of these symptoms, seek care from a medical professional.

We can manage and reduce the negative effects of stress in a variety of ways: daily walking or exercise, yoga or meditation, a warm bath, disconnect from phones, screens and social medial, or reduce caffeine and or alcohol intake. The CDC offers some additional tips for reducing stress. A thirty-minute walk outside every day is an easy way to keep stress at bay. No special equipment needed, other than a good pair of walking shoes.

And new research conducted by Cornell University confirms that consciously stopping to observe and appreciate your natural surroundings naturally lowers inflammation. During that thirty-minute walk, consciously stopping to feel the breeze, look at a flower, a tree, or a butterfly passing by has proven health benefits! It’s a simple way to make each walk even more beneficial.

The American Psychological Association explains the positive effect of observing nature in full detail, but essentially, walking in nature, even urban nature, provides a sense of

connection and wellness. Be sure to stop and appreciate your natural surroundings on your next walk and enjoy better health!



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