The Role of Nature in Promoting Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is an incredibly important part of growing up, as it helps us develop problem-solving skills and understanding of the world. Surprisingly, one of the greatest contributors to cognitive development is nature.
Everyone Benefits from Nature
Research has found that every age group benefits from regular exposure to nature. Babies as young as six months of age show reduced stress levels when exposed to nature. Likewise, children aged 2–7 tend to be more creative when there is nature present, and teenagers and adults both develop better long and short term memory when regularly exposed to nature.
The Benefits of Nature
Exposure to nature offers a variety of cognitive benefits:
- Reduced Stress: Nature has been found to be incredibly calming, so exposure can help to reduce stress levels and improve mood.
- Better Cognition: Walking in nature improves one’s ability to recall information, and viewing natural scenes increases abstract thinking.
- Greater Creativity: Children who spend significant amounts of time in nature tend to outperform children who don’t.
- Improved Attention Span: People can focus and concentrate better after exposure to natural scenes.
How to Increase Your Nature Exposure
Thankfully, it is easy to increase your exposure to nature. Here are a few quick and simple ideas:
- Take a walk in the park or in nature.
- Watch a short nature video online.
- Grow a small garden on your balcony or windowsill.
- Visit a local botanical garden.
- Invest in houseplants.
Nature has a powerful impact on cognitive development and overall wellbeing. Taking a few moments each day to increase your exposure to nature can have significant and long-lasting benefits for both adults and children.