Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd
Did you know that we are currently experiencing what experts are calling “Nature Deficit Disorder”, or NDD for short? It’s true! Today our always-on connection with our devices is keeping many from taking breaks and getting out into nature. This nature deprivation is defined as a lack of time in the natural world, largely due to hours spent looking down at screens; it has been associated, unsurprisingly, with depression. Studies also show that without regular immersion in nature, we can suffer physical and emotional distress, including anxiety, depression and obesity.
Time spent out in nature offers us many benefits. In one study, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced. It’s not surprising seeing God created this amazing world we live in and He created us to get out and experience it. I love the way The Message says it in Psalm 19:1-2, “God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.”
Some benefits of getting into nature
• Reduces stress and anxiety. It has a calming effect!
• Treats depression. It is a great mood lifter!
• Improves sleep. Who doesn’t need more sleep!
• It gets you moving. Looking up and exercising!
• Increased immune function. You will be healthier!
• Inspires creativity. Oxygenates your brain!
• Helps you to experience God. He is speaking through His Creation!
Make it a habit to spend more time in nature: exercise outside instead of going to the gym; have lunch outdoors; and spend as much of your weekends as you can out in nature. At the very least, get a plant for your home or office. Set your timer today on your phone to look up and get outside. Take a walk, or hike, feel the sun on your face, it will be a breath of fresh air!