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The “30 Days Wild” challenge in the UK highlighted 7 ways that nature can improve our health and happiness.

Participants in the country’s first month-long nature challenge were asked to “do something wild” every day for 30 days. They also completed a survey at the start and finish of the challenge, as well as two months after completion.

“Intuitively we knew that nature was good for us as humans, but the results were beyond brilliant,” said Lucy McRobert from The Wildlife Trusts.

Of the more than 18,000 participants, the number of people that reported their health as “excellent” after the challenge, increased by 30%!

The results of the challenge supported findings in the growing body of scientific evidence that shows how increasing our time spent in nature can:

  1. Reduce stress, hypertension, inflammation and cardiovascular illness
  2. Improve vitality and mood
  3. Decrease depression and anxiety levels
  4. Improve our short-term memory, concentration and alertness
  5. Boost our immune system
  6. Increase our creativity
  7. Help us to live longer

But even more than that, it has been shown that feeling “connected to nature” correlates with high levels of life satisfaction, happiness and feelings of wellbeing. The correlations are just as high as those found with more well-known predictors of satisfaction, such as marriage, income and education.

four women sitting on rocks with their feet in a shallow river. mountain scenery behind.

Cooling off the feet in the Snowy River at Charlotte Pass.

Another interesting finding from the University of Derby was that activities involving physical contact, creativity, emotion and engagement with nature, were much more effective pathways to increasing a person’s feeling of connection, than were scientific and knowledge based activities.

And if more people can increase their feelings of connection with nature, then more people will be inclined to protect and nurture their local natural environment.

So the moral of this story is; get out there, more often, in whatever way you can! Go for a walk, plant some veggies or go for a swim….

Or even better – immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Snowy Mountains and the Sapphire Coast on a Gang Gang Tour!