Orders placed by 2pm ET ship same-day. Use code "2for80" for Discount on two Pairs!

0

Your Cart is Empty

Nature and the Brain

January 19, 2016

Nature and the Brain


It's long been known that nature is a calming and healing force for humans, but recent studies are teaching us that being outside is not only good for us, it fundamentally impacts our bodies and changes our brains. Science is now unlocking the truth behind conventional wisdom and giving us a peak into how nature improves our mental and physical health. Discover more about the connection between nature and the brain. 

Being Outside Changes Our Brains

According to a recent article in the New York Times, simply getting into a natural environment changes where the blood in our brain flows, causing a lift in mood and battling anxiety and depression. In a recent study by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers examined why urban dwellers experience more mental health problems, anxiety, and neurological pathologies by scrutinizing how a walk in both nature and urban environments impacted mood. Researchers found walks in nature reduced blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with "morbid rumination" (i.e. obsessing over negative thoughts and feelings) where a walk in an urban setting had little benefit.

So if you need a pick-me-up, take a stroll in a park or nearby national park and start changing your brain.

Time In Nature Improves The Ability To Focus

Nature also restores our ability to focus day to day. A study showed that time spent in nature improved ability to solve puzzles and tasks when they individuals were extremely fatigued. The mechanism proposed by which this happens is called attention restoration theory (ART). According the ART, urban landscapes are taxing on your attention because they demand you "LOOK THERE" to avoid bumping into a stranger or being hit by a bus. Over time, this fatigues the mind and negatively affects your ability to focus on tasks that require careful attention.

“Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they’re still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. "

Natural environments lack this urgent demand for attention and allow the mind to relax and restore a natural balance for attention. According to the Atlantic article, "Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they're still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we'd like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources."

Nature and the Brain

Nature Helps You Overcome Pain and Stress

Time spent outdoors in natural landscapes can also help us cope with pain and stress more effectively. Studies show that patients with access to natural environments heal faster, experience less pain, and spend less time recovering in hospital rooms. On top of that, spending time outdoors produces an immediate positive physiological effect, including lower cortisol levels, reduced heart rate, and lower reported levels of anxiety.

Rheos Is About Change, And Change is Needed

It's amazing that with such clear benefits to being outdoors, so few people regularly immerse themselves in natural environments. Rheos exists to encourage more people to spend time outdoors, and now we can tell you with authority that it's good for you (thanks science!). So grab a pair of floating shades, and explore the wonderful world around you. Your mind (and body) will thank you.




Looking for more content like this? Join our mailing list for stories, news and discounts exclusively for our Water Junky Community.



Also in The Watering Hole

The 10 Boating Safety Tips You Need to Know - Rheos Gear
The 10 Boating Safety Tips You Need to Know

May 24, 2019

Boating safety is essential whether you’re a novice or experienced captain, especially during busy weekends like Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Here’s a reminder of the top boating safety tips you need to know.
Read More
Rheos Groomsman Gift Idea Floating Sunglasses
Groomsmen Gift Ideas for the Outdoorsmen

May 15, 2019

The right groomsmen gift shows your friends how much you care, and we think ties and cufflinks don’t do that sentiment justice. Read on for our list of outdoor groomsmen gift ideas.

Read More
Fishing Basics - Rheos Gear
1,2,3 Fishing Basics

May 08, 2019

If you’re new to the sport of fishing, follow these 3 tips for fishing beginners. Read on to learn the most important fishing basics from a tournament fisherman.
Read More