Managing Stress: The Nature Way

Managing Stress: The Nature Way

If you’re here, stress is clearly on your mind. We’ve already covered what stress is, what it does and how we can fight it in our Guide to Stress. We've also talked about the benefits of caring for our skin and of doing breathwork exercises in times of stress. Here are a few reasons why getting out in nature is one of the most efficient ways of managing stress.

Nature Can Improve Physical Well-being 

We’ve talked about how stress hormones prepare us for an immediate physical response to a threat and put most other body functions “on standby”. Being out in nature helps lower cortisol levels, blood pressure and even muscle tension. Get a bit of sunshine in and our Vitamin D levels also rise, helping our bones, blood cells and immune system function optimally. The body gets more oxygen. Our eyes strain less once we can focus on more distant points than a screen a few inches away. 

If our nature encounter entails increased exercise – from swimming to playing ball outdoors – then we’re naturally completing our stress cycle through physical activity.  

People playing volleyball on a sunny beach, one man is diving forward to hit the ball

Outside Is Better for Mental Health 

For thousands of generations, humans have lived and worked outdoors. It’s only natural for that environment to be the one we are best suited for mentally as well. 

Exposure to natural light helps us regulate our sleep cycle. This improves all body functions that rely on quality sleep – which is to say, all of them. Levels of depression and anxiety, anger and stress also go down, as nature encourages us to be more mindful of the present moment and our surroundings. 

Activities in nature will also, usually, invite us to be part of a community, whether it’s fellow gardeners, nature photography enthusiasts, or people we hike and play football with. Connecting with others is one of the most powerful ways of reducing stress. 

The Great Outdoors for Greater Mental Abilities 

Our modern workday is often an overwhelming combination of being stuck in an enclosed space and being bombarded with information and noise. Getting out in nature has the opposite effect – vast spaces, pleasant sounds, an opportunity for our brain to set its own thinking pace. This can improve our creativity and problem-solving. Our brain was built for diversity! 

If we’re stuck on a problem at work or school, taking a walk in a nearby park can help our mind have a break, reset and re-focus on the task at hand. 

Quote from Mica Allen, coach, physical trainer and founder of Birmingham's Hot Girl Hike Club: Hiking helps me to destress and unwind because I am out in nature, exploring different parts of the UK. I’m doing it alongside like-minded people who also have found the benefits of escaping day to day life and stepping out for fresh air and stunning views.

Where Do I Start? 

If you’re into running or walking, grab your shoes, friend and/or dog and explore your neighbourhood and parks.  

If hiking sounds good to you, Mica’s tips are: 

  1. - plan your route 
  2. - invest in a good pair of walking boots or shoes 
  3. - make sure you have snacks and plenty of water 
  4. - wear the appropriate clothing dependent on your hike route and local weather  
  5. - and most importantly, just enjoy it! 

Four people hiking with backpacks on a snowy mountain at sunset, picture taken from behind the group

If team sports are more your calling, find your local club or look for social media announcements in your neighbourhood. There are always others looking for the same thing. (You can also have a look at our Active CBD Range of Oils and Muscle Rub to get more out of your workout and recover faster.) 

If you’re into paddling sports, don’t let lack of gear stop you – there are plenty of clubs and rentals that will provide you with what you need to get on the water. It’s best to start with a group so you can help each other. 

Don’t forget that gardening, whether tending to the flowers in your own garden or growing veggies in the community allotment, definitely counts. You won’t get closer to nature than with your hands in the dirt, helping green things grow. 


An elderly woman smiling in her garden, in front of a greenhouse, she's holding planters that have sprouted plants

See you out there soon! 




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