By Nguyet Tran
With the advancement of technology and artificial intelligence, we find ourselves engrossed with phones, computers, and TVs. We have a lot of options to engage in natural approaches. We can order organic, engage in online meditation and yoga. Yet, in this high-tech age, we are able to stay online 24 hours a day, and often we forget to engage in the basic self care points. It’s becoming more and more evident that technology addiction is becoming a widespread health problem in many countries.
Life can seem quite short, particularly when spending time in the electronic world, which often means spending less time in the natural one. Technology is great but it may be distracting us from some of the values of being alive. We may be losing sight of what is truly important. We stay indoors close to our electrical outlets and panic when we lose our phones. Technology has made life convenient in many ways, but at what cost?
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO RECONNECT WITH NATURE
There are numerous studies that show the benefits of interacting with nature. The University of Minnesota suggests that exposure to nature not only makes us feel emotionally better but also contributes to our physical well being. Nature inspires a natural detox by decreasing the production of stress hormones, lessening blood pressure and cholesterol, and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. That combination of beauty and fresh air relaxes us, and reduces muscle tension and heart rate. Interacting with nature can help control the symptoms of anxiety and depression, promoting recovery alongside medication.
Humans are genetically predisposed to gravitate towards nature. We prefer rooms with a view, and studies have shown that hospital patients with views of green spaces took fewer painkillers, had better evaluations from nursing staff, recovered faster, and had fewer postoperative complications. In a prison environment, inmates were reported to have less stress and sickness with cells that have windows to views of nature. Similarly, those working in an office with views of trees and flowers had less job stress, were more productive, and were reported to have better job satisfaction compared to employees with views of concrete environments. Studies show that university students scored better on a test when they had access to a view of nature. Just by looking at the outside environment, contentment is increased, focus is enhanced, and anger and anxiety dwindle.
Children who spend time in nature have an increase in self-esteem and children with ADHD can experience an increased attention span long-term. Applying healthy foods can be of great import to a child’s growing cycle. Organic produce and proper nutrition combined with outdoor outings can prevent child obesity. Surprisingly though, surveys have shown that children between the ages of 5 and 16 have real misconceptions about the origins of food. More than 40 percent of kids don’t know where eggs come from, 29 percent think cheese is a plant. Other misconceptions are that pasta and bread come from animals and that fruit pastilles are part of a recommended daily diet of fruits and vegetables.
Interacting with nature inspires empathy and love, helping us to build better relationships with our partners, families, and communities. Green spaces such as parks and gardens provide the community with a space to socialise, building community cohesion and decreasing prejudices of race, economic, and educational status. Neighbourhoods with green spaces are reported to have less street crime, less domestic violence, and less graffiti. Workers feel an increased sense of identity and integration by having contact with nature.
Nature provides a multitude of benefits for both the individual and the community. It helps in the progress of a healthier workforce. Health services are now looking at how to integrate contact with nature and nutritionists to promote health for the population. As technology surrounds our lives, we need to find ways to reconnect with nature.
Exercise in all its forms is good for the body and mind. It reduces the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Rock climbing, swimming in the sea, kayaking, canyoneering, surfing, hiking, trail running, cycling, just to name a few, can all be done outdoors. Exercise done in natural surroundings produces more benefits than when done indoors. The Detox Center promotes healthy activity in our Detox packages, often including yoga, tai chi, dancing, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or weight training outside. Exercise in natural surroundings not only stimulates greater feelings of revitalisation, it also increases motivation. It reduces the perceived level of effort, helping you to exercise harder and more often.
Just being in nature has a multitude of benefits. Enjoying an organic picnic, bird watching, feeding the ducks, gardening, and stargazing are just a few examples of embracing nature without the need to exercise. Being in natural detox surroundings can be as simple as sitting in a treehouse, visiting a beach, or reading in the park. Sculpture parks are an enjoyable integration of art and nature, and visiting one encourages you to walk, as well as exposing you to green spaces. If accessing the outdoors is difficult, interacting with nature indoors is also possible, such as organic produce greenhouses and herb gardens. Try your hand at growing indoor plants and spend a little more time with your pets.
With the advancement of technology, our food is greatly affected. The use of pesticides produces a bigger yield in farming, and processed foods have a longer shelf life. Though these aspects are convenient, research suggests that organic food is better than non-organic, and the need to know how it is produced will help in making informed decisions regarding nutrition.
Organic food contains more antioxidants, which are important nutrients found in fruit and vegetables that help prevent cancer, improve vision, fight infection, and combat ageing. Organic foods are cultivated without pesticides, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Therefore, eating organic foods means ingesting fewer chemicals that contribute to deficiencies in neurodevelopment, and negatively affect the healthy bacteria our gut requires. Organic meat is leaner (less fatty) than non-organic meat and comes from grass-fed stock without the use of antibiotics. The benefits of organic foods are numerous and decrease the need to fortify our foods by promoting health naturally.
Join us at the Natural Detox Center and engage in the tropical beauty of Thailand in an environment which focuses on health, exercise and well being. Our practitioners will be happy to help you naturally detox from the busy everyday hustle you know, to engage in a sense of tranquility and natural calm.