Have you ever been surprised at how a walk in the park, digging in your garden or a hike along the lakefront has lifted your mood?
It’s simple: nature heals, soothes and restores us. Nature can lessen our anxiety and improve our well-being. If you don’t have time or can’t get outside, even seeing pictures of nature can have a similar effect. Amazing, isn’t it?
You can experience a gentle one-two punch when you expose yourself to nature. You can reap both emotional and physical advantages. While you are more likely to have pleasant feelings and see your anger fade away, being in a natural environment can also help to reduce your blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Who can argue with that?
Interactions in nature can even influence how well you think, according to researcher Marc Berman!
When people feel comfortable in nature and spend an average of 120 minutes per week outdoors, they can experience immense benefits, which may include:
*lower blood pressure and stress hormone levels
*reduced nervous system arousal
*enhanced immune system function
***Information taken from this article.
So, the next time that frustrating situation hits you and you feel the anxiety creeping in, lace up your walking shoes and head outside.
Where can you go in the Chicago/Evanston area to boost your mood and reduce your anxiety?
Charles G. Dawes Park
Stroll through the 16.21 acres, walk along Lake Michigan, stop for a picnic or take a dip in the cold icy lake. The park is home to a lagoon with a beautiful fountain.
1700 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60201
Open 6:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday-Sunday
From walking and cycling, to viewing beautifully restored habitats,
Harms Woods has it all. This popular forest preserve is bisected by the North Branch of the Chicago River. To the east of the river, visitors can take advantage of the North Branch Trail; to the west of the river, visitors can walk along unpaved trails and enjoy spring wildflowers, butterflies and birds thriving thanks to years of dedicated restoration efforts.
Harms Woods North (There are several entrances.)
Harms Rd and Old Orchard Rd
Cook County, IL 60077
Open everyday sunrise to sunset.
The campus has numerous walking paths. Stop at the rocks next to the lake. Sit down and watch the water or the geese.
633 Clark St.
Evanston, IL 60208
Grounds always open.
Bahai Temple (Wilmette, Illinois)
Go north a few miles to this gorgeous temple. Sit outside and gaze at the majestic architecture of the building. Go across the street to Gilson Park. Enjoy the green space or the beautiful beach.
100 Linden Ave
Wilmette, IL 60091
8:30 am -5:30 pm
Chicago Botanic Gardens
Enjoy the 27 display gardens and the 4 natural areas. This lovely landscape is constantly changing. See what is currently in bloom here.
(Advanced registration required.)
1000 Lake Cook Rd.
Glencoe, IL 60022
8:00 am-5:00 pm (Garden grounds)
Stroll through the 1,700 acres of trees and explore over 222,000 live plants.
(Advanced registration required.)
4100 Lincoln Ave.
Lisle, IL 60532
7:00 am to sunset Monday- Sunday
North Park Village Nature Center
Experience the woodland, wetland, savannah and prairie of this 46-acre nature preserve.
5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60646
9:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Sunday
What are some of your favorite natural areas to visit in the Chicago/Evanston area when you need to regroup, refresh, and heal from the anxiety in your life?
Catherine provides Anxiety Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, and Relationship Therapy for women in Evanston and Chicago IL. For the pet lovers out there, she also provides Pet-Assisted Therapy. Catherine helps women who feel isolated, anxious, and overwhelmed in their lives to find more happiness, satisfaction, and self-acceptance. She also helps women manage and think differently about chronic pain, fibromyalgia, IBS, and other forms of GI distress.