Contact with nature, even in small ways (like noticing new spring flowers or observing a new bird in your backyard), can take you away from Life’s daily grind and lead you to feel more peaceful and serene.
Wouldn’t you like to:
- Reduce stress and anger?
- Improve your cognitive performance?
- Increase feelings of calm and awe?
- Keep your mind active and healthy?
- Develop a sense of connection to something larger than yourself?
Who wouldn’t, right?
Recent studies suggest that interacting with nature, including birds, has important stress reduction and restoration effects. In fact, Dr. Katie Curhan, Ed.D., a former postdoctoral scholar in the department of psychology at Stanford University, discussed during an interview how one study showed that hospital patients with window views that included deciduous trees or gardens, rather than brick walls or highways, recovered from surgery more quickly, required less doses of pain killers, and had fewer negative comments written about them in nurse logs. This sounds like a no-brainer to me.
Other research shows how connecting with nature, including birds, keeps our minds active and healthy. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests that if we want to keep our brains healthy we need to keep learning new things. What better way to do that than by continuing to learn about nature? Just identifying common species of the plants and animals in nature can be a challenging mental puzzle. And, studies have shown that these kinds of mental exercises can help form new neural paths that can fight back against diseases like Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, and Parkinson’s. Now, here’s something I did not know.
Research also confirms that connecting with nature has numerous additional benefits:
- Boosted immunity and improved energy and mood
- Better concentration and critical thinking
- Increased connectedness to God and appreciation of the beauty around us
And… connecting with nature is FUN!
This explains why, according to a recent Census Report, over 65 million Americans enjoy feeding birds in their own backyard as a convenient way to appreciate and study nature. Watching birds, like watching fish or other animals, seems to make people feel good and in more ways than one.
Note to Self: I wonder if my insurance will accept receipts from my latest birding escapade under my employee health benefit. Hmmm. That one might be a stretch.
Jump start your health and wellness plan with this Bird of the Month Club. It’s Free. It’s Fun. And, it will help you feel better!