Nature Can Improve Your Body Image & Happiness (1.5 min read)

Tamara and Dana practicing yoga in Nature at a nearby park.

You probably heard that being out outside does wonders for your well-being. You probably feel calmer, more connected to Nature, and a general sense of peace and ease that may be absent when you’re indoors lost in your busy city life. Taking a walk in the park or, better yet, going out to some more remote place allows you to reconnect with the natural formations of Earth, hear the sounds of non-human Nature, and regain the perspective that humans are not the only living organisms on our planet. All of this has been scientifically proven to boost your immune system and lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, and elevate your mood.

As amazing as all this is, there’s even better news about Nature. A recent study in 2020 found that being in Nature can actually have a very positive impact on your body image. Body image is the subjective and objective thoughts and feelings you have about your body. It’s built from what you see in the mirror, how others view and treat you, and what media you’re exposed to. Some of it might be objective, like a number on a scale or the shade of your skin; some of it is subjective and is based on opinions, like thinking the number is too large or that your uneven skin tone is unattractive. 

The study with over 6000 participants found that being in Nature improved how people view their body weight, body shape, and satisfaction with their physical appearance. This means that being out in Nature gives you a huge confidence boost. It might even save you thousands of dollars in cosmetic procedures!

Not only did people report being more satisfied with their appearance, they reported significant increases in overall happiness. Maybe they were happier because they thought they looked better? Maybe they were happier because they got out of the daily grind? Does it even matter? They are happier. So the next time you’re out in Nature, passing by a tree, or looking up at the clouds, take a pause to notice how you feel at that moment and about yourself.  

Tamara practicing yoga and meditation in Nature.

If you can find beauty in a field of flowers or the arch of a rainbow, you can find beauty within yourself. Remember, you are literally a part of Nature; you’re made of the same things and play a vital role in Earth’s ecosystem. Being in Nature is a win-win. You win because Nature nurtures your well-being. Nature wins because when you feel good, you can nurture Nature.

(I know that Nature is not a proper noun and thus shouldn’t be capitalized. But to me, Nature is a living being whose spirit I can feel, so I think a capital N is the least I can do to acknowledge it.)

Author: Tamara Kino, Lifestyle Mentor