Nature makes us happy

Become happier: Happiness is in nature

Back from vacation, most of them feel like they have just been born. Whether on the beach or in the mountains. But why does the vastness make us so happy? It is nature as scientists are now confirming.

Neither crisp entertainers nor sumptuous specialty buffets or sprawling pool facilities make vacationers really happy. What makes most tourists euphoric is - Landscapes. A study brought this to light some time ago. Views of mountain ranges, surging waves and palm beaches, desert dunes in the evening light, tropical forests, only they trigger feelings of elation. And they are fondly remembered after a trip. All of the rest, the trappings, make for a pleasant background noise at best.

What may be a bitter realization for the tourism industry makes the hearts of landscape psychologists beat faster. They are on the trail of nature's potential for euphoria. And according to their findings, some areas are a kind of “everybody's darling”. Although attractiveness is always in the eye of the beholder, this eye gets intoxicated across all cultures in the same formations over and over again.

Wonderful landscapes of nature awaken feelings of happiness

From Japan to Texas to Bavaria, there are wide areas savannah-like landscapes with loose vegetation as beautiful, curved paths over gentle hills, here and there a babbling brook or a lakeshore. Experts suggest that this ideal is a legacy of evolution. Because varied landscapes with hiding places, food and drinking water sources ensured the survival of humans at all times.

With the view from elevated positions you could keep an eye on enemies and escape better in an emergency. And such areas are still popular in the 21st century and are correspondingly important for tourism. But not only the lovely savannah beckons, Extreme landscapes for example, real fireworks of adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins ignite in the brain. Sailing trips, desert crossings or summit ascents - they all put the body in this pleasant state of intoxication.

That is because it rewards the exertion in return with the release of hormones and neurotransmitters - an old evolutionary program that enabled people to exert themselves via the detour of euphoria. The program is relaunched for white water rafting or rock climbing and ensures good sales for the organizers. Of course, nature can do more than just provide pleasure.

The Landscape Psychology is still not widespread in this country. It originated in the USA, where people wanted to know how hiking trails and hotels in the national parks have to be designed in order to be perceived by tourists as beautiful and to attract visitors.

Hike Yourself Happy - Outdoor Exercise for Happiness Hormones

In Germany, landscape sociologists like Rainer Brämer from the University of Marburg, who is now considered to be the German “wandering pope”, especially with the positive effects of local low mountain ranges. After many studies he is convinced: “Regular hiking in nature is an ideal broad spectrum therapeutic agent for the prevention and treatment of almost all diseases of civilization. The physical, psychological and mental effects of movement and contact with nature are mutually reinforcing. "

And not only the contemplative low mountain range, also seascapes trigger strong effects. A study by the University of Witten / Herdecke, for example, showed that Sounds and pictures of the sea Reduce pain, stress and anxiety during dental treatment. Diving and floating in the water reduces depression in disabled people, as Munich sports scientists have observed.

And the typical sea colors and sounds affect the sick and the healthy reassuring. Blue and turquoise lower the pulse and blood pressure, relax the viewer in a measurable way. Wave noises can be used wonderfully for relaxation trances. The view of the sea is a first-rate stress killer - no wonder that two thirds of all travelers worldwide are drawn to the coasts.

Nature makes you healthier

Landscapes not only deliver beautiful images, but also natural sounds, fragrant fresh air, the caressing of wind and water on the skin, sensual experiences that have largely disappeared from modern everyday life. Thomas Abel and Andrea Abraham from the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Bern examined a good 200 studies and came to the conclusion: "Experiences in nature promote mental, physical and social health. They encourage more physical activity, increase the ability to concentrate and have positive feelings. "

Nature strengthens the immune system, regulates the metabolism, lowers the blood sugar level and supports healing. In return, it reduces frustration, anger, stress and is even able to lower crime rates.

Wherever there is so much well-being in landscapes, it makes sense to make targeted use of it. Scientists are increasingly calling for this aspect to be anchored more firmly in preventive health care. Because despite the positive effects on the body and psyche, practically all therapies take place in closed rooms - and thus gamble away enormous reserves Nature as a co-therapist to use.

Many clinics, doctors and therapists are now encouraging their patients to be more natural, but that should, in the opinion of RainerBrämer Much more frequent and more systematic: “A great potential for therapeutic possibilities lies idle here.” There is still a long way to go before a sailing trip or a mountain tour on prescription.