In a world full of devices and distractions, it can be tough to find peace and quiet.
But what if we told you that there was an antidote to all the noise? A place where peace exists externally can lead to internal calm – and there is no better place to find this than in nature.
When we spend time outdoors, we reconnect to the world around us. We see the beauty in nature, feel the sun on our skin, and breathe in the fresh air. Slowing down to the pace of life allows us to appreciate the simple things again.
For teenagers, the need for peace and quiet is amplified like never before. The constant barrage of noise and stimulation from devices and social media can be overwhelming for teenagers.
As their bodies and minds rapidly change, they can often feel out of control and overwhelmed. Nature can help provide a sense of order and calm during these years.
Teens who add time outdoors in nature to their routines can enjoy a host of emotional benefits that go beyond the quiet. Here are some of the top emotional benefits that teens can enjoy from being out in nature:
1. An Improved Mood
When we spend time outdoors, our bodies produce more vitamin D. This essential vitamin helps regulate our mood and can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Vitamin D from sunlight offers other benefits, like helping our bodies absorb calcium and improving our immune system function.
But getting outside doesn’t just mean sitting in the sun. Even on cloudy days, spending time outdoors can help improve your mood.
2. Increased Ability to Focus
It can be hard to focus on anything for more than a few minutes in today’s world. This is because there are so many distractions vying for our attention.
Studies have shown that being in nature can help improve our ability to focus and pay attention. Being exposed to two hours of nature can bring immediate impacts, such as improved focus, increased attention to detail, and calming nerves.
So if you’re having trouble focusing on homework or studying for a test, try heading outdoors for a study break. You might just find that it helps improve your concentration.
3. Lower Stress Levels
Teens face far more stressors than ever before. From academic pressure to social media, countless things can contribute to stress and anxiety.
But spending time in nature can help lower stress levels and promote relaxation. For example, one study found that just 20 minutes in a park lowered cortisol (the stress hormone) levels when compared to other exercises.
Do you find yourself overwhelmed by stress? Take some time to head outdoors and enjoy nature. You’ll likely find that it helps you feel more relaxed and calm.
4. Better Sleep Quality
If you’re having trouble sleeping, spending more time outdoors can help. The sun helps regulate our circadian rhythms, responsible for our sleep-wake cycles.
Exposure to sunlight during the day can help us feel more awake and alert, while exposure to darkness at night can signal to our bodies that it’s time to sleep.
Plus, spending time outdoors can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved sleep quality.
Teenagers need around eight to ten hours of sleep each night. So when you’re not getting enough shut-eye, try spending more time outdoors during the day. You might just find that it helps you sleep better at night.
5. Greater Sense of Connection
In today’s world, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the people and world around us. But spending time in nature can help increase our sense of connection.
We feel more connected to the natural world when we spend time outdoors. We also tend to interact more with other people, which can help improve our social connections.
If you’re feeling isolated or lonely, spending time outdoors can help. Going outside helps you to feel more connected to the world around you.
6. Enhanced Self-Confidence
Spending time outdoors requires us to step out of our comfort zones. We might have to try new activities or explore unfamiliar territory.
This can be a great way to build self-confidence. As we challenge ourselves and push our boundaries, we learn that we are capable of more than we thought.
We also learn how to handle adversity and setbacks, which can help build resilience.
If you’re looking to boost your self-confidence, spending time outdoors is a great way to do it.
Practical Tips for Getting Outdoors More
Now that we’ve covered some of the top emotional benefits of being in nature let’s discuss practical ways to get outdoors more. Here are a few ideas to help you experience nature in a brand new way:
- Take a nature walk: One of the easiest ways to get outdoors is to take a nature walk. This can be done anywhere, any time of year. Just put on some comfortable shoes and head out the door.
- Visit a local park: If you live in a city or suburb, there’s a park nearby. Parks are great places to get some fresh air and enjoy nature.
- Join an outdoor club or group: There are likely outdoor clubs or groups in your area that you can join. This is a great way to meet new people and explore the outdoors.
- Go camping: Camping is a great way to spend time in nature. It can be done in your backyard, at a local campground, or even in the wilderness.
- Take a hike: Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the beauty of nature. There are hiking trails of all different levels – find one right for you!
No matter how you get outside, the important thing is that you do it.
Stepping away from technology and spending time in nature can have a lasting impact on your emotional well-being. So make an effort to get outdoors more, and you’re sure to reap the benefits.
Experience The Beauty of Nature with Deer Hill Expeditions
At Deer Hill Expeditions, we believe there’s nothing like experiencing the beauty of nature firsthand. That’s why we offer a variety of outdoor expedition programs for teens.
Our programs are designed to help participants connect with nature and challenge themselves in new ways. We offer expeditions in some of Colorado’s most iconic and beautiful locations – with new opportunities for camping, hiking, and more each year!
If you’re looking for an adventure this summer, we hope you’ll consider joining us on one of our expeditions. Contact Deer Hill Expeditions today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you experience the emotional benefits of being in nature.