When you’re immersed in nature, you can sense its effects.

Feeling the breeze on your skin, hearing birds chirping, seeing landscapes with bright splashes of color – these experiences reset us, and it’s not imagined.

Evidence shows that these effects are real. Nature interacts with our brains and bodies, improving our health and well-being.

A recent study found that just two hours a week in nature improved the health and well-being of participants.

It makes sense. We’re a part of the natural world. We’re from it, and we return to it. So, naturally, it restores us in-between.

Today, we’re bombarded with the opposite of nature’s therapeutic effects. Screens of all kinds – and the information they hold – drain us.

That’s why getting out into nature is essential, to escape the modern world’s daily pressures. Let’s explore the ways that this directly impacts different parts of our human experience and health.

Calm your mind and uplift your moods

The restorative feeling you’ve gotten being in nature actually has a name: “soft fascination”.

In a city, our mind tracks constant movement, loud sounds and their location, lights and signage – information that’s beyond what we’re even aware of.

In nature, we absorb in a relaxed, aware state. We don’t have to analyze multiple systems. Instead of being on high alert, we can breathe in fresh air – at a naturally slower pace – to find calm and peace.

So, it’s no surprise that natural environments help with low moods and depression. It can offset modern living and screen time. A simple, regular walk can significantly improve our mood and productivity.

Heal your body and decrease pain

Our bodies respond to nature, just as our minds do. In a group of patients who had gallbladder surgery, the half with a view of trees from their windows had lower pain compared to those without the view. Those with green-space views had shorter hospital stays with fewer medications and complications.

This shows that even being near nature can positively impact our bodies. This is increased when sitting in grass, for example – and even more when cycling, swimming, or walking your dog.

Connect better, feel joy, and increase empathy

Nature also helps us connect more to other people, experience collective joy, and empathize.

A study on schoolchildren in Barcelona found that those living closer to green spaces and beaches got along better (and were more likely to show prosocial behavior). This carries over to urban landscapes as well. Another study showed that these communities had better neighborly relations and less violent crime.

In a world where screens have come to divide and separate us more, nature can help us remember how to reconnect on a meaningful level.

Find solace from grief

Natural landscapes can soothe intense emotions and help us feel closer to others, softening loss of all kinds. Grieving is intensified by loneliness. Nature reminds us that we’re all a part of something, and helps us connect better with others.

The grieving process is different for everyone – and is not a straight line. It can entail clinical depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and chronic grief, among other things. Nature provides comfort and relief.

Memorial forests like Better Place Forests Berkshires offer an option where those grieving can feel held in a calming space to mourn in. Being surrounded by nature can have a heightened soothing effect compared to an urban cemetery. To learn more about this option, call 877-830-8311.

One Better Place Forests customer put it like this:

“I have spent many days walking in the forest. When you listen to the birds, the wind, the rustling of leaves, and snow falling — it’s a monumental, picturesque experience. You get a feeling that you’re a part of something bigger, which is a reason why I think this will resonate with many people.”

– Dwight B.

This feeling is why many people choose memorial forests for their end-of-life plans. They know that family and friends will have a place to go to remember them, feel connected, and process emotions – creating a bonding experience as well.

This resting place will help protect the forest for future loved ones – in a green space that offers all the benefits that can help them heal.

“It’s the decision to be a part of nature and sustain our beautiful trees and forests. It’s a decision to help with reforestation and reverse climate change. And, lastly, it is my decision. My family will have peace of mind.”

- Better Place Forests customer, Cathy F.

You can choose a forest as your resting place

Choosing a tree for your ashes can help everyone in your circle receive all the benefits of nature.

You’ll also leave a legacy of conservation. Your tree helps protect the forest and all of its inhabitants. Plus, with each memorial tree purchase, we plant reforestation saplings through our partnership with One Tree Planted, to help reforest America.

End-of-life plans are deeply personal. Learn more about memorial trees as an option – and immerse yourself in nature – by visiting our Berkshires forest. Or, take a free, guided online tour with one of our advisors. We are always happy to answer any of your questions – just call us at 877-830-8311.

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The Eagle provides fee-based professional writing, editing, design, web presence and social media services to businesses to help them tell their stories with the broadest reach possible. Let us help you tell your story today. Email kkirchner@berkshireeagle.com