Modern life has many of us inside and on screens for much of our days, much to our – and our kids’ – detriment.

Science is finding evidence that being in nature positively impacts our mood and behavior. We are physically and mentally more healthy when we interact with nature.

Nature helps us:

Reduce anxiety

Reduce stress

Increase attention

Increase creativity

Increase connection with others.

A Japanese study compared urban city walkers and forest walkers. They found the forest walkers had significantly lower heart rates, more relaxation and less stress than the city walkers.

A study out of Finland showed that people living in cities who walked for as little as 20 minutes in an urban park versus on the city center showed significantly less stress than the city walkers.

Nature might even make us kinder, more generous and better connected to those around us according to a study out of UC Berkeley.

What are the some ways to bring nature into our daily lives?

  • Bring nature indoors with plants. (Today is Houseplant Appreciation Day! — why not celebrate by bringing a new one home? Check out The Best Houseplants for Small Spaces).
  • Walk through a botanical garden near you.
  • Stroll through the local arboretum.
  • Search for nature spots near your work so you can have a midday nature break.
  • Eat lunch in the park.
  • Drive the pretty way wherever you are going.
  • Check out the parks in your city.
  • Add nature photos to your phone and computer background – even nature photos help!
  • Look up when you are outside – notice the change in the seasons.
  • Do some yoga in the grass.
  • Bring your dinner outside and eat on the patio or porch.
  • Read outside.
  • Take your laptop outside and pay your bills.
  • Invite a friend for a walk+talk instead of a coffee date or happy hour.
  • Try a moving meeting – take a co-worker on a walk outside to talk about work.
  • Have a picnic in your backyard.
  • Listen to nature sounds while you work or commute.
  • Research hikes within an hour of your house.
  • Look out the window – never know what nature you might find.
  • Challenge your kids to a treasure hunt: have them find different colors, textures, species.

How will you bring more nature into your every day life?