For a lot of us calm-seeking individuals, unplugging and getting our mind right often involves spending some time with nature.

Whether it’s a walk through the park or laying out in the sun, taking a break with mother nature can give us the recharge we need to be our best selves for the rest of the day. 

But, what is really going on in the brain when we are taking that much-needed dose of natural medicine? 

Recent studies in the last few years have identified what happens when we subject ourselves to the natural world. Using an MRI machine, researchers discovered that subjects who were exposed to nature turned their attention outward.

This means they were focused on observing the sights, sounds, and smells that were present right in front of them. 

On the other hand, triggers like artificial noises caused the brain to refocus attention inward. The inward attentional state was similar to what neuroscientists observe in cases of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. 

We’re all familiar with the positive feelings we get when enjoying the outdoors. Studies like this one add to the growing body of evidence we can use to help explain these benefits and to encourage ourselves to incorporate nature in our daily routines.

Check out this Ted Talk for some more inspiration to schedule yourself some time outdoors every day.

Share this with someone you care about to encourage them to get outside.