Take a moment to estimate your daily screentime. Make sure to factor in all of the screens you look at each day, not just your phone. That includes laptops, tablets, and TVs, as well.
How high is it?
There’s a good chance that it’s astonishingly high and that since the pandemic, it’s only gotten higher. Post-pandemic studies show that the average adult spends an average of 19 hours a day looking at different electronic screens (1).
That equates to 44 years of your life spent looking at screens.
While all of the gadgets in our lives certainly have their uses, don’t forget your roots. All of us are living, breathing creatures of the Earth, and sometimes, we need to try harder to remember that.
Given the number of benefits that being in nature offers, taking your eyes off the screen from time to time is especially valuable.
Nature makes people happy
If you’re ever feeling angry or sad, head to the park, the beach, or the patch of grass down the block.
According to a Finnish study, sitting outside for as little as 15 minutes can help you feel psychologically restored (2). If you don’t like to sit still, you’re in luck—walking in nature allows that restoration to take place even faster.
Your stress levels decrease
Most people alive in the 21st century lead high-stress lives, and global pandemics only tend to exacerbate those feelings of panic and anxiety. All of that can do a number on your mental health.
More and more research, however, is showing how being in nature can help combat feelings of stress. It helps lower your heart rate, which is one of the most common side effects of stress and anxiety.
It can help you think clearer
Overstimulation is another byproduct of our interconnected lives. You might be feeling fine yourself one moment, but upon seeing a depressing news story or Instagram post, that might change.
Nature gives your brain the time it needs to rest and recharge. Put your phone down and allow yourself to be present in the environment around you. You’ll end up thinking clearer after you do.
Nature can help strengthen your immune system
Are you an indoor person that squirms at the thought of camping, hiking, or running through a field? If so, you should know what you’re missing.
One Japanese study found that women who were in the woods for six hours over two days had a higher number of white blood cells than those who didn’t (3). White blood cells are your body’s superheroes—they fight viruses, bacteria, and anything else that seeks to harm you.
The immune system boost from those six hours lasted for a week.
It can help you stay youthful
From skincare routines to plastic surgery, most people do a lot to try and maintain their youthful glow. However, not as many people worry about how they feel as they age.
Research shows that spending time outside every day can help make aging a less painful process—literally. One study found that elderly people who made time to get outside had fewer aches, pains, and sleeping problems than those who spent most of their time indoors (4).
Despite how hard modern life may try to convince us otherwise, finding time to be in nature is an essential part of being a healthy, happy human.
To live your best life, try to make it outside each and every day.