“Nature itself is the best physician.” Hippocrates
A Happy New Year to you all! I wonder, if like me, new year resolutions are still fresh on your mind, with a boost to your health and wellbeing perhaps near the top of your list? This got me thinking that maybe a good place to kick start Wild About Lympstone’s 2023 articles would be a reminder of the wider values and benefits nature and wildlife brings to us all, especially our health and wellbeing.
As a passionate nature lover, and firm believer in the healing power of nature and wildlife, I’ve been lucky enough, through my work at the University of Exeter, to learn a lot more about the growing research in this area. Fascinating insights are emerging about how and why we benefit both physically and mentally from our natural spaces and the wildlife in them. We all know how over-stretched our National Health Service is right now, so it’s good to remember that we can access a different kind of health service, provided by the natural world. A service that, luckily for us, is abundantly free around beautiful Lympstone.
Research is evidencing what perhaps many of us already experience to be true – that spending time in nature benefits us both mentally and physically. It’s proven to reduce anxiety and stress, improve mood and psychological wellbeing, and raise self-esteem. It’s also been shown that exercising in natural spaces supercharges the benefits we gain, with health benefits worth over £2.2billion in the UK! Evidence like this is helping to persuade policy makers to better protect our precious natural spaces and wildlife. I’d highly recommend Isabel Hardman’s book ‘The Natural Health Service’, if you’re interested to read more. Also, take a peek at the amazing research going on at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health website (https://www.ecehh.org/).
There are many theories about why nature, and the wildlife it supports, has a healing power over our minds and bodies. Many believe this is because as humans we are part of nature, and have evolved with it, so our natural state is to be in nature. For sure, it seems that it’s here we are more easily able to connect with our own innate health and wellbeing. Whatever the reason, the benefits are clear. So, we hope you enjoy getting out and about as much as you can this year, looking out for, and looking after, Lymsptone’s wildlife, soaking up the natural beauty around you, and using this amazing local, free Natural Health Service, to boost your health and wellbeing.
We’d love to hear from you – to know if you enjoyed this article and/or if you have other suggestions for interesting Wild About Lympstone articles.