Nature as a Stress Reliever

The technological advancements of our modern world have completely revolutionized the way we live our lives , today more than ever before in the history of mankind. We live in a time when we can set the thermostat, order food, stream movies from a cell phone without getting off the couch, let alone leaving the house . With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, people forget to stop, people forget to find a way to relax , if only for a little while, and stop thinking about chaos that is as clear as mud in today’s world.

Looking back at my life, I can definitely notice some moments when stress and pressure overwhelmed me, especially since I first started taking AP classes. At one time or another, we all go through difficult times whether it be through stress that education puts on us, or through the pressure of other physical or emotional issues. Because of this stress, we are always on the lookout for a quick way to relieve this tension.

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Nature is the antidote “that can call us back from the edge of numbness” and take away our worries (Kingsolver).

Have you ever felt a strong connection to nature before, as if it can sympathize with your struggles and take away your stress? This is because our ancestors relied heavily not on technology, but on nature for food and survival in the wild. The way we live our lives has changed drastically from back then to now, however our brains have not changed.

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We still have that deep connection to nature, and research shows that we need to nourish that bond to stay healthy, happy and harmonious both physically and emotionally. Have you ever felt that the rain cries with you whenever you feel sad or simply melancholy, as if the pitter-patter drops can wash away your worries? Our close connection to nature, represented by this example, still exists on a deeper level in our brains. And although we often feel that education has the most value in society today, forget we should not the importance of personal health over education, career goals, and other material goods that society has to offer.

The stress and pressure that we feel on a daily basis tends to lead towards weaker connections between people and society. A study at the University of Illinois suggests that people who had trees, flowers, and green space around their houses reported knowing more people, such as neighbors and community members , and creating stronger connections with those people, as well as feeling a sense of belonging within society . According to research, scenes of nature help light up parts of the brain associated with empathy and love (while urban scenes activate feelings of fear and anxiety in the brain) . As AP students, we often feel the need to complete as much things as possible in a single day, forgetting the importance of nature, which leads to physical and emotional strain. Nature also helps reduce feelings of anger, and fear, and stress, and increase pleasant feelings , leading to a better mood and a sense of wellbeing.

I often notice that when I procrastinate to do something and have to complete it in a short amount of time, I completely run out of creative ideas and inspiration. Research supports the claim that spending four days in nature improves problem-solving skills by at least forty-five percent . I have found that reading outside with the greenery and sunshine, letting the breeze ruffle my hair , helps me retain the information and focus better on what I am reading. In addition to increasing the flow of creativity to our brains, nature brings us wonder, and wonder is found in nature , healing both the body and the soul . Tall trees, hundreds of years old , towering snowy mountains that resemble giants , and galaxies full of uncountable stars leave us in awe of our surroundings, increasing our sense of belonging as a tiny part of the incredible universe.

Nature brings us wonder; wonder gifts us with belonging . Peace is the most valuable gift we need in this chaotic world, and nature gives us the perfect example of unity and peace . In today’s world of tension and unconformity, enjoy a walk outside a little more often, or head to the hills to appreciate some silent sounds after a long day. Stop giving nature the cold shoulder , and take the first step with responsibility, the beginning of the end to a less stressed life. Finally, remember that even if it doesn’t feel worth it in the moment to spend some time outside (especially in our state of Washington), the benefits will pay off in the end.

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Nature as a Stress Reliever. (2022, Apr 25). Retrieved from

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