Being outdoors is one of my favorite ways to spend a block of free time. When I'm feeling extra stressed out or bogged down by a long day, it's as if the sun always knows how to relieve my worries. It really is a magical thing.
But I'm not just a crazy sunshine addict. The science is real, and it says that spending time outside really does make you happier, no matter how much you actually love being in nature.
Don't believe me? We're about to take a look at a few facts that prove you should be spending more time outside.
The outdoors decreases stress with its sights and smells
You heard that right. Fresh cut grass, crisp pine trees, calm ocean swells... Oh my, I feel less stressed just thinking about those things!
The sights and smells of the outdoors - no matter if you prefer mountains or beaches - have a wonderfully positive effect on us. In fact, the smell of many flowers, including jasmine, lilacs, and roses, have been proven to decrease stress and increase relaxation. Plus, the scent of fresh pine can lower anxiety.
But it's not just the bright smell of flowers that calms us down. If you take a moment to step outside and look at a garden or go for a walk, you'll probably find that your stress level decreases.
That means that by moving one daily activity outside (like your lunch break!), or by taking a short walk before or after a meal, you could get rid of lingering stress. Then, you'll be ready for the rest of your day.
Being outside can put you in a positive mood
Not only do the outdoors help get rid of stress, but they can also boost your mood to the opposite end of the spectrum. It's been proven that spending more time with nature shows a shift toward more positive moods, and I'm not one to argue with science.
UV rays provide vital Vitamin D
I'd be remiss not to mention Vitamin D - the "sunshine" vitamin - when talking about the outdoors, because although trees and flowers can improve our mood, they don't have the same healing power that the sun has.
Just by going outside for 10-15 minutes, your body's Vitamin D levels will get a healthy boost, which can save you from feeling blue.
For these reasons, and plenty more, spending time outside is something we should all be doing on a daily basis. And one of the easiest ways to achieve that goal is by taking one of your routine activities and moving it outside. Case in point: Lunch. I hope you'll join me in spending at least one lunch outside per week.