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Your Brain On Nature | The Nature Connection
Why Getting Outdoors Is Good For You - From The Inside Out
By Marina Rose, QDNA®
The Magnificent Human Experience™ | Epigenetics
June 01, 2015
“Look deep into nature-- and you will understand everything better."
-- Albert Einstein
Summer’s here, and for most of us that means it’s time to head outdoors and play, breath the fresh air, soak up the sunshine, and savor the
extra long days to recharge our body, mind and spirit.
There’s a magical quality about summertime that seems to instantly melt away the stress, boost our spirits and generally make life feel so good.
If you catch yourself laughing and smiling a little bit more than usual and feeling evermore carefree this season, you can thank the summer sunlight and the extra hours to soak it up each day for making you float through the day feeling confident and energized. Sunlight produces Vitamin D, known for its energizing effects, which we receive in abundance during the bright sunny summer days. The extra UV light also encourages our body’s natural production of serotonin, what scientists call the “happiness hormone”, while slowing down the production of melatonin, a hormone that leaves you feely sleepy and sluggish.
Let’s also not forget that “school’s-out” feeling of summer that lingers through adulthood.
Not just for kids or parents of school age children, we’ve all been conditioned to think of summer as a well deserved break from hard work, routine and responsibility. Even though the work world continues year-round, research shows that we instinctively feel more carefree and relaxed during summer--just like when we were kids.
More than just a feeling, there’s now really good science to support why summertime is indeed the “feel good” season.
It turns out that it’s more than just sunshine and more carefree days that make us feel happy in summer, and new scientific studies are now showing us how to capture this feel-good quality of summer all year long.
Most of us know that whenever we break away from our busy schedules, unplug from our high tech gadgets, and simply step outside of the comfort and confines of our homes, offices and city landscapes to immerse ourselves in nature, we seem to immediately shift our mood and feel more relaxed and refreshed.
Although we intrinsically seem to know that being in nature is good for us, new research is now discovering the scientific reason why we feed so good when we get outside—any time of year.
It’s called the "nature connection," and a host of new studies now show that whether it's a morning run at sunrise, strolling along the beach, taking a hike through the woods, or just inhaling the aroma of flowers in bloom or quietly standing in your yard listening to wind blow through the trees, spending time in the outdoors actually makes us healthier --mentally and physically—from the inside out.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the closer you live to nature, the healthier you're likely to be. Researchers found that people who lived within 1 square mile of a park or a wooded area experienced much less anxiety and depression than those who lived farther away from natural green spaces. In addition, research shows that simply spending time around trees is found to have a dramatic affect on overall health, reducing stress, improving mood, lowering blood pressure, as well as the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Even the scent of nature is beneficial to health. Phytoncides, a natural substance containing antibacterial and antifungal qualities that plants secrete to protect themselves from insects have been linked with improved immune defense and currently new findings suggest that visiting forests or wooded parks may actually have a preventive effect on cancer generation and progression.
Not surprising, kids who spend more time playing outdoors are less fidgety when they do have to pay attention indoors. Studies show that children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder show a marked reduction in related symptoms. Simply spending more time outside in nature can be a highly effective treatment to managing ADHD, with the advantages of this approach being wide accessibility, inexpensive access, and free of side effects caused by traditional pharmaceutical drugs—with all of the other added benefits of spending time in nature a plus.
Even if you live in an ultra urban area, seeking out green space within the city is shown to still have a strong positive impact. For instance, a report in the medical journal Social Science & Medicine found that even something as simple as taking lunch outdoors each day near a fountain or stream in a city park had a strong beneficial effect, demonstrating that even those who live in the city can still reap the blissful benefits of nature as well.
Not only does spending time in nature have a calming effect on the mind, it also helps improve focus.
Our lives today are busier than ever, and filled with the constant buzz of multi-tasking our email, texting, Facebook and other distractions—but this constant multitasking is beginning to take its toll. Trying to maintain focus on so many activities at once can easily mentally drain us, a phenomenon that’s called Directed Attention Fatigue. Spending time in nature, looking at the sunrise, plants, birds and other aspects of nature offers a relief from directed attention, giving the cognitive portion of our brain a well deserved break, thereby restoring our ability to focus attention when we return to our busy task driven schedules. And here’s the kick. Using advanced brain imaging techniques, Neuroscientists have shown that it’s not just walks in the park that make our brain light up with joy, but even just having artwork or other images depicting natural beauty around us in our home or office can have an equally positive effect. Whether we’re actually outside experiencing Nature, or merely enjoying the visual experience through art, images, meditation or Neuroplasticity Visualization Techniques, research shows that the brain responds exactly the same way, by consistently and reliably boosting cognitive functioning.
In his latest book, Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality, written in collaboration with Harvard Medical School physician Eva Selhub, Dr. Alan C. Logan of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, an invited faculty member at Harvard's School of Continuing Medical Education, explores the connection between nature and human health and happiness.
“Sophisticated brain-imaging techniques show that when healthy adults view nature scenes rich in vegetation, areas of the brain associated with emotional stability, empathy, and love are more active. These same pathways are activated when a person looks at pictures of a loved one. In contrast, viewing scenes of the built urban environment produces a significant increase in activity of the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with fear and stress. These findings support previous investigations showing that nature scenes can enhance brain-wave activity in ways that are similar to the benefits of meditation” says Logan.
So what does your brain look like on nature?
Research shows that a healthy dose of nature can increase stamina and energy, improve mental clarity, increase creativity, boost self-esteem, reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and overall improve mood and well-being.
In the day and age of urban development and technology, many people are deprived of living and working amongst open green space. Sitting in front of a computer all day is not only physically unhealthy, but can also be very draining for the mind and spirit.
How many of us have gazed in awe at the sunset, felt soothed by the sound of the ocean or been moved by the beauty of a snow-capped mountain?
Experiencing this deep sense of connection with nature is a universal event and illustrates how our bonds with nature are an integral part of our well-being as humans. It’s called “Biophilia”, a term used to describe that innate affiliation that humans have toward the natural world—and why deep at our core we feel so connected.
From an evolutionary context, Biophilia makes sense as well.
Biologists observe that many species that use “selective habitat” selection actually have an increased chance of survival. Early humans were likely no different, and their choice of living near plants and water and in wide open spaces not only felt more secure, but would also have provided a greater availability of food and sustenance. This ideal setting also allowed Paleolithic humans an opportunity to recover from the stress and fatigue of hunter-gathering, gaining a distinct survival advantage, and throughout evolution encoding this preference for certain landscapes in the core beliefs held in our DNA.
While for the last two million years human beings have evolved outdoors entirely immersed in nature, it has only been a short two hundred years since we have shifted this almost entirely, drastically moving to a near constant indoor environment. Doing so has broken a long and vital evolutionary connection that we have to the natural world. As the industrial revolution’s cities and suburbs spread across continents creating an artificial world filled with artificial light, shelter and confinement, both the biology and psychology of who we are is still struggling to adapt.
The negative health effects of a lack of natural sunlight and exposure to excessive amounts of artificial light from a society that lives ninety percent indoors has been widely documented. Our natural Circadian Rhythms of night and day have been in a constant state of disruption since the dawn of electricity, and artificial lights have all but erased the stars from the night sky, separating us from one of the most enduring human connections to understanding our place in the Universe.
In just a blink of an eye, in geologic time, our relationship with nature has been nearly completely overcome by our relationship with technology.
Sociologists call it “nature deficit disorder”, a cultural phenomena that’s on the rise, affecting children and adults alike. While attention has been focused on children who bear the brunt of this by spending far too much time indoors watching TV or playing video games, those of us that spend forty plus hours a week staring at computer screens, smart phones and other high tech gadgets are experiencing equally negative health impacts.
In fact, the technology itself may be as much a problem as the amount of time we spend using it.
The case against EMFs or Electromagnetic Fields--the radio waves that are emitted by household appliances, computers, cell phones and other electronic and wireless devices–showing harm to health is now overwhelming, with well documented studies on cell phone towers and usage being one of the worst offenders. With now more than five billion active cell phone users and a vast network of cell phone towers across the globe--and growing—the potential impact to human health is staggering. From disruption of migratory birds and bee populations, to hard scientific studies showing a link in cell phone use to certain cancers, the importance of understanding EMFs and their effects on human health and the environment has never been greater.
If you think the jury's still out, then you’ll definitely want to watch this video by Dr. Devra Davis, author of Disconnect--The Truth About Cellphone Radiation, from the Environmental Health Trust, who has extensively researched the health hazards of cell phone use with exhaustive studies.
Like most medical professionals, Davis was a skeptic who didn't believe in the possibility of cell phones being dangerous―until she studied it. Now with strong toxicological and epidemiological evidence to support her studies, she’s made it a mission to inform the world that cell phone radiation is not only dangerous, but can be downright deadly.
Davis’s research has shown that the impact of cell phone use on human biology is not merely tied to common EMF pollution from their use of electrical power, but rather to the particular erratic nature of the EMFs generated by its signal. Their documented ability to disrupt biological resonance and interfere with DNA structure and repair is a direct result. Her work is considered a pioneering breakthrough in understanding why we see such a wide array of health impacts from cell phone EMFs—everything from sperm reduction to multiple types of cancer.
But it’s not just cell phones.
Electricity, as we know it, considered one of the greatest inventions of all time, and our highly electrical society as a whole, has now been called into question.
In his meticulously researched book, Dirty Electricity Dr. Samuel Milham, MD, PhD, one of the country's most noted epidemiologists of the last 50 years, explores and exposes the dangers posed by the continual and increasing "electrification" of society since the 1930s and 1940s, and its direct association with the surge of modern diseases.
For more than half a century, scientific researchers who have studied the links between electricity and disease have been routinely dismissed by a variety of skeptics, from doctors and medical experts, to powerful special interest groups—with electric utilities, electronics manufacturers, cell phone and wireless providers clearly at the forefront.
However startling new research is finding hard science to support the correlation of EMF pollution to human health—making the case increasing harder for skeptics to brush aside.
A series of highly compelling and detailed reports released by The Bioinitiative Working Group, citing more than 2,000 studies by an international collaboration of prestigious scientists and public health policy experts from the United States, Europe and other experts around the word, detail the toxic effects of EMFs, providing strong scientific documentation that long term exposure to EMFs, dirty electricity and other low-level radiation like that from cell phones, can cause a variety of serious negative health effects.
Now more than ever, the science is in for the need to get unplugged, tune into nature and get outside.
Just as Electromagnetic Frequencies from our high tech gadgets negatively impact our health, being outdoors in nature helps us to quickly restore.
Many are unaware that the Earth itself has its own special frequency or “pulse” that we humans—and in fact all biological organisms—“tune into”.
It’s called the Schumann Resonance, named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann who predicted it mathematically in 1952. It is the frequency of the Earth`s magnetosphere that results from the electrical charges that run between the Earth’s surface and the top part of its atmosphere, produced consistently at 7.83 Hertz. It is the same as light, which travels 7.8 cycles per second around the earth.
The Schumann Resonance has been called the Earth’s “heartbeat” because all living things on Earth, including humans have evolved under its influence, and it has been found essential to maintain the basic rhythm of life. This frequency also lies on the border line between of the Theta and Alpha brainwaves frequencies where the mind transitions out of the alert problem solving mode (tasking/technology) into to a more meditative/visual state (relaxed/nature), and is the brainwave frequency generated when people are out in nature, away from the big cities where other frequencies interfere.
In fact, long term separation from the Schumann Resonance has been found to cause depression, anxiety and other emotional and health problems, documented by NASA, while monitoring astronauts in space during long term orbit at the International Space Station, which lies above the Earth’s ionosphere and is outside of the influence of Schumann waves. Now, there is actually a frequency generator on the ITS to mimic the Earth’s “heartbeat”.
Another study conducted by Professor R. Weaver from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research studied the effects of the Schumann Resonance on human beings, and carried out tests on volunteers in an underground bunker which completely screened out magnetic fields, including the Schumann Resonance of 7.8hz. After four weeks underground the volunteers were suffering from emotional distress and migraine headaches. After a brief exposure to 7.8 Hz frequencies the symptoms subsided and volunteers felt healthy again.
Scientific research now shows the importance of magnetic waves in DNA and cell resonance, enabling cellular communication in our bodies. New theories have emerged that suggest that the human body receives and uses the important information from the Earth’s magnetic field in this process, and that DNA strands are communicating with each other on this same frequency. A potent reminder of the importance to not only unplug and get outside, but to also conserve and protect the natural environment, and to ensure that we continue to study and keep technology in check.
We are all living creatures on an interconnected Earth, in an even larger interconnected Universe, and it’s important to take time to break free from technology and commune with nature regularly. As you do, you’ll begin to feel energized and in tune with your most natural state of being.
Living and working in indoors, in buildings, in a concrete jungle is not conducive to our optimum long-term health. So get outside—not only in summer— but all year long. Leave your iPhone and other gadgets behind. Take a hike, meditate, do some outdoor yoga or just be still and be mindful. The more you go the more you’ll find activities in nature that resonate with your spirit and connect you with your higher source.
As Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant thinkers of our time once said:
“Look deep into nature-- and you will understand everything better.”
Perhaps to even better understand yourself.
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Learn more about Your Brain On Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness and Vitality, Biophilia, Schumann Resonance, and other ways to utilize Nature’s influence on your health with the latest news, tips and resources at QDNA® What’s New and learn more about QDNA® Private Sessions , to kick start and optimize your health and wellness.
Copyright© Written by Marina Rose
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Marina Rose is the founder and developer of QDNA®, Quantum DNA Acceleration®, a revolutionary new technique for quantum growth in life and business. QDNA® uses the latest cutting edge science in Neuroplasticity and DNA Reprogramming to develop plans of action that activate solutions for you and your business needs. It compounds Quantum Field principles, Positive Psychology, and Epigenetics, in a powerful new technique to assist you to achieve desired results. Accelerate your life and business now.
An excerpt of this article appears in the June/July 2015 Issue of the Malibu Chronicle.
Images Via: QDNA®/Photo © Phartisan/Dreamstime
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Marina Rose is an alternative health pioneer who employs cutting edge techniques that sit squarely at the intersection of the most leading edge scientific research and the ancient arts of traditional mind-body-energy medicine. She is the founder and developer of QDNA®, Quantum DNA Acceleration®, a revolutionary new technique for quantum growth in life and business. She offers seminars, programs, lectures, and private sessions in QDNA® that accelerate personal and professional transformation.
Marina has been an alternative healing arts and wellness facilitator for the past twenty-one years and holds certifications in more than twenty-four healing modalities. She is a highly respected facilitator, educator and lecturer in the field, with private practice based in Venice, California. Marina is the author of numerous articles on health and wellness, and is the author of The Magnificent Human Experience: Explorations In Consciousness and The Human Body, a weekly blog dedicated to far ranging topics that bridge the worlds science, health and spirituality.
Marina Rose has clients in 60 countries and all over the United States. She is based in Los Angeles, CA and lectures and practices QDNA® in locations worldwide.
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About | Marina Rose, QDNA®
Marina strongly believes that there is nothing that cannot be healed or transformed when the mind, body and emotions are in balance. From over two decades of professional experience, Marina has developed a broad range of instructional programs, seminars and a complete line of organic products to support health and healthy living.
Marina has also developed highly customized QDNA® Business Programs designed to assist in decoding, reconstructing, and recoding patterns of belief, to literally re-wire the brain for success, improving creativity, innovation, and productivity. These combined personal and professional QDNA® programs offer a unique opportunity to recondition the mind, body and spirit for far reaching and lasting results.Read More >