We know getting outside is good for us, but did you know there are scientists who are looking into what “doses” of nature we humans need for optimal effects?
What they’ve learned is the magic can happen in just twenty minutes spent outside – twenty minutes, three times per week in nature is all you need to see profound neurological changes like being calmer, sharper, more productive and creative. Spending this time in nature even makes you less at risk for all kinds of diseases.
(And just a side note, if you’re using your phone during this time, you don’t get any of the benefits. Womp womp.)
Of course you can level up to get even more benefits, but the effects of nature are so powerful you can even benefit from urban nature (think random tree on a sidewalk), having plants in your office, or even just having a view of nature out a window while indoors.
So what is it about nature? It seems too simple this thing that’s always around us can benefit us so much.
You’ve got the sounds (or lack of), you’ve got the sun (never underestimate the power of vitamin D), and you’re getting away from the stress of the office or home.
You’ve also got something called fractals. In nature you are bombarded with these complex patterns that repeat over and over again in different sizes and scales. Think of a whole forest of trees, or even how the tree is made up of branch connecting to branch connecting to branch. Think of mountain ranges or clouds. Fractals are everywhere in nature and our brains love their organized chaos.
I love all of this fun science behind the power of nature. And as a believer, I love it even more because I know none of it is by accident – everything we see in nature is by divine design and it serves a purpose.
Jesus’s friend Paul in his writing frequently points to creation as evidence for God. He says all we have to do is look at creation to see God’s realness, nearness, eternal power and divine mystery. (Acts 17:24-29, Romans 1:20)
Psalm 19:1 in the Message says “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.” Talk about the best show you’ll ever see or the best class you’ll ever take.
And then we have the creation story in Genesis. After each new creation, one phrase is repeated: “And God saw that it was good.”
God created the sky and the trees and the bodies of water and the mountains and the fields and the flowers and the air and all of it is good. So of course, it is good for us.
I hope you can make some time today, this week, this month, and this year to immerse yourself in the goodness.
You will be better for it.
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