Chances are you’ve heard about Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E and their benefits to your health and wellbeing. However, you have probably never heard about Vitamin N. Vitamin N doesn’t come in capsule or liquid form. You can’t buy Vitamin N from a drugstore.
Vitamin N is all around us. It’s nature! The healing powers of nature have been known for many years, but unfortunately, we do not utilize it enough today. Nature has the power to heal, sooth, and restore. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Spending more time outdoors nurtures our “nature neurons” or brain cells, and our natural creativity.
University of Michigan researchers demonstrated that, after just an hour interacting with nature, test subjects’ memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent. In workplaces designed with nature in mind, employees are more productive and take less sick time. Pennsylvania researchers found that patients in rooms with views of trees had shorter hospitalizations, less need for pain medications, and fewer negative comments in the nurses’ notes, compared to patients with views of brick. Researchers in Sweden have found that joggers who exercise in a natural green setting feel more restored and less anxious, angry, or depressed than people who burn the same number of calories jogging in a built urban setting.
Nature has a way of bonding friends and families. Cities around the country are developing nature clubs where multiple families engage in activities such as hiking or gardening together. Try to incorporate nature into your life every day. You could take a brisk walk outdoors or do something as simple as put a live plant in your office. Anything you can do to connect yourself to Mother Nature will decrease your stress levels and increase your happiness!