One of the main benefits of walking in nature is that trees inspire feelings of awe. According to research done by psychology professor Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley, awe benefits not only the mind and body but also improves our social connections and makes us kinder.
Spending time outside is also vital as a destressor. One study found that camping gets the stress hormone cortisol back under control. Even sitting near trees at the office help calm us down with “softly fascinating stimulation.”
Nature is a higher power
Knowing how little we stand in a swathe of gigantic trees also puts life in perspective. Wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Nature:
“Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”
Nature soothes the sense of self. It reminds us that we are less significant we are, and that fact may make us happier we're here.