I love summer because there are so many more opportunities for us to be outdoors and experience the wonders of nature. Unfortunately, modern-day life has compromised our connection with the wild, but our genetic makeup still prefers the sights, smells, sounds, and sensations of nature. When we’re in nature, our senses heighten, and the fresh air helps melt away stress and energizes mind and body!
Directed attention fatigue is a modern affliction caused by the overstimulation of urban environments that tax our brain’s ability to focus on a task for any prolonged duration. Exposure to the tranquility of nature reverses its effects.
Our perception (involuntary attention) in natural surroundings creates a calm mental picture, partly because of the sounds at lower decibels found in nature. Nature’s sounds are more predictable than the random jolting and harsh stimuli common in most urban environments. Also, our sight is more expansive as we focus between close and distant objects.
In nature, a cascade of hormones and cellular responses are unleashed that decrease stress and lower blood pressure. Nature not only enhances healthy neurological functions, but also builds up our immune system by increasing certain lymphocytes that are known to fight off infection and attack cancer growth.
Nature’s Breath of Life
Did you know that the air we breathe not only keeps us alive but also influences us mentally, emotionally, and physically?
Negative ions are tiny, highly reactive, molecular fragments in the air that energize our body at the cellular level. They're abundant in sunlight and nature’s moving waters and wind, with the highest concentrations found in the higher mountainous elevations. Negative ions heighten alertness and mental energy because they help increase the flow of oxygen to our brain.
On the other hand, positive ions, are bad news! Positive ions collect in pollution and soot and recirculate in indoor air. If you’re in an enclosed space such as a car, office, or home, your air supply can become de-energized with positive ions predominating over negative ions. High-voltage power lines and electrical appliances such as computers and televisions also generate positive ions. Positive ions fuel fatigue and assorted health problems.
NASA studies suggest that ion imbalance can promote fatigue, bone loss, compromised sleep cycles, and overactive adrenal glands that can lead to burnout and compromised immune function. Other studies suggest ion imbalance can result in anxiety, depression, electrolyte imbalances, systemic inflammation, emotional disturbances, and diminished cardiovascular and brain function.
Find Nature When and Where Ever You Can
Even if circumstances such as high-density urban living and prolonged time periods confined to enclosed spaces are inevitable, you can make every effort to find accessible windy, outdoor open areas to go to—just a short visit to a small park in a big city can deliver a quick does of negative ions and help to rebalance your energy. You can also reap the benefits of artificial ionization by purchasing a combo deionizer/HEPA machine that removes both particle matter (pollen, dust, mold) and noxious gases (smoke, toxic auto and industrial emissions).
Nature is so powerful, but modern living makes capturing its essence not easy. Our work should be to study, admire, respect, and stay close to it—nature will never fail us!
“Into the wild I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact me with questions or feedback, and you can respond to this blog with your comments. Be well and live awesome!
All of the information in this writing is for educational and informational purposes only. We are passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and aim to share that passion with you through coaching, blogs, readings, chats, social media, etc. Primary sources to ensure accurate and current content, including studies, scientific references, and statistics, are found below:
Mark Sisson (2016).21-Day Total Body Transformation, Primal Blueprint Publishing