Befriend Nature

Listen to Dr Priyanka Shekar

26thMay 2023 • 05 Min and 52 Sec

Exposure to natural settings can lower cortisol levels, reduce feelings of tension, increase productivity, improve problem-solving abilities, and enhance mental clarity.


We are all mortals who want to improve our health and well-being with simple things without hassle, but what is the right advice? Standing on one leg? Or is it avoiding sugar? Or is it Trying Turmeric? Welcome to the Optimists podcast, I’m Dr Priyanka Shekar, and this is “One Simple Thing.” Here you will learn just one thing to improve your health in ways you might not expect.

In today’s episode, we’ll explore how spending time in nature can positively impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. So, please grab a cup of tea, find a cosy spot, and begin our journey of befriending nature.

Nature has an incredible ability to heal, inspire, and rejuvenate us.

Research has shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and boost our immune system. Immersing ourselves in natural environments can calm our nervous system, helping us feel more relaxed and centred.It’s incredible to think that simply being in nature can have such profound effects on our bodies. 

One of the most significant benefits of befriending nature is its positive impact on physical health.

Spending time outdoors encourages physical activity, whether hiking, gardening, or walking in the park. Regular natural exercise boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and improves overall fitness.

Nature’s benefits extend beyond the physical realm. Nature also has a profound impact on our mental and emotional well-being. It acts as a powerful stress reliever, reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation. 

Immersing ourselves in natural environments has a soothing effect on our nervous system. It helps restore our mental clarity, enhances our mood, and fosters a sense of calm and tranquillity.

Nature acts as a natural stress reliever. It can lower cortisol levels, reduce feelings of tension, and promote relaxation, allowing us to recharge and recover from daily stressors.

Spending quality time in nature has been linked to improved cognitive function. It enhances focus, attention, and creativity. 

Studies have shown that exposure to natural settings can increase productivity, improve problem-solving abilities, and enhance mental clarity. 

It’s incredible how nature can provide that much-needed respite from our busy lives and offer solace to our minds and hearts. 

How can we foster a deeper connection with nature in our day-to-day lives?

One way is to incorporate nature into our routines, even in small ways. 

Spend time outdoors every day, even just a few minutes. Walk in a nearby park, sit in your backyard, or find a green space to connect with nature.

Engage in mindfulness practices while in nature. Be fully present, using the senses to observe and appreciate the natural world. Notice the colours, textures, sounds, and smells. Allow yourself to experience a sense of awe and wonder. 

Engage in activities that allow you to interact with nature directly. Like, gardening, birdwatching, stargazing, or nature photography. By actively participating in these activities, you develop a deeper appreciation for nature’s intricacies and rhythms.

Another great way to foster a connection with nature is to learn about our area’s local flora and fauna. By understanding and appreciating the biodiversity around us, we develop a sense of stewardship and a desire to protect our natural environments.

Remember, it’s not just about enjoying beauty and tranquillity; it’s about nurturing a reciprocal relationship where nature and ourselves thrive.

Now go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and embrace the wonders of the natural world. Until next time, keep befriending nature and embrace its infinite gifts.

So if this is not one thing you are already doing, then do give it a try! Your overall health, wellness and fitness could get upgraded.

That’s one thing to include in your daily routine for improving your body and life. Join me next time on “One simple thing” for a better tomorrow.