“It is Allah who made for you the earth a place of settlement and the sky a ceiling and formed you and perfected your forms and provided you with good things. That is Allah, your Lord; then blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds” (Surat Ghafir 40:64).
Many fail to give nature the respect it deserves; a consequence of a great loss of morality during a time when people fail to respect their fellow humans, let alone trees, animals and plants.
We should hold onto Islam’s teachings of respecting nature, as Allah created each and every aspect of this earth. Who are we, as mere creations, to view the rest of the earth as nothing of importance?
Appreciating nature as a sign of God’s creation brings us closer to Him. The structure of mountains, the growth of trees, the changes of seasons, the singing of birds at sunrise: this is nature’s beauty.
Nature reminds us of Allah and His many mercies, awakening our souls and feeding our spirits. Accordingly, we should ensure that we do our part to maintain it.
The plants grow from the rain that the clouds drop. Oceans provide the water that forms parts of the clouds. Plants provide food and shelter to animals and humans. Humans breathe the oxygen released by green plants and trees.
The cycle of nature is an intricate design fulfilling many overlapping needs. We can’t live without these natural processes, even with all the world’s technology. You cannot beat nature.
Nature affects our health, both physically and psychologically. While a person who is suffering from a mental health problem should always seek appropriate medical help, the natural outdoors can play a role in overcoming some struggles.
Simply taking a walk outdoors can have a beneficial impact on your physical health. It also allows your mind to rest, refocus and recuperate.
Enjoy ‘Green Blue Mood’
Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can help swap feelings of loneliness, sadness and anxiousness with those of calmness and tranquility. Spending time in or seeing scenes of nature brings about positive feelings.
It is thought this is due to areas of the brain associated with balance and emotional stability being highly active when we look at natural landscapes. Those who live in rural areas are far less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than those spending their days in busy cities.
Looking at things from nature, such as animals, lakes or trees, can improve our attention span. Research into children with attention deficit disorder demonstrated increases in their attention span while spending some time outdoors. When our mind is in a calmer state, our memory also improves.
Positive moods allow our brain to function better and allow us to be more productive and efficient in our daily work and studies.
This has been particularly true for people with depression; taking a walk in a natural rather than an urban area has been shown to enhance cognition.
Many of the processes in our bodies require vitamin D. Lack of exposure to the sun leads to low levels of this hormone in the body, which can be improved by spending even a small amount of time outside.
Low levels of vitamin D can cause a depressed mood and tiredness. It can also lead to chronic problems within the joints and skin. In turn, these health issues can lead to depression and self-esteem problems.
Natural light allows our bodies to recognize day from night. Spending too much time indoors with artificial lighting alters our body’s natural rhythm and disturbs our sleeping patterns.
Early morning exposure to natural sunlight has been shown to help sync the cycle back into its real rhythm. Sleep is essential for physical and mental health, so ensuring enough exposure to natural light is a key to good health.
This post would be incomplete without a mention of exercise! Regular walks outdoors can protect your heart, improve your immune system and keep you active.
This article is from Science’s archive and we’ve originally published it on an earlier date.