Spending Time in Nature Benefits Health and Well-Being

Sunset Health Education Institute promotes wellness

Press Release

Nature and health — is there a connection?

Spending time in nature promotes relaxation, rejuvenation, and emotional well-being, contributing to disease prevention and immune function.

Our environment plays a fundamental role in shaping human development, promoting resilience, and fostering holistic health across the lifespan. Investing in environments that nurture the mind, spirit, and body is essential for creating a healthier, more resilient society.

There is an intricate connection between our bodies, physiological (normal functioning of organs) and immunological responses (fighting infection and disease). Understanding how these systems interact can provide insights into managing stress-related health issues and optimizing overall well-being.

Health is not a fixed entity; it varies for every individual, depending on their circumstances. When an individual engages in nature for their health, several positive changes occur in the brain affecting neuroplasticity (the capacity of the nervous system to develop new pathways to connect our positive hormones to enhance, peace of mind, joy and self-acceptance). These health benefits can lead to positive changes in emotional regulation and cognitive (thinking) function.

By embracing creativity and nature, individuals can tap into a wellspring of inspiration, healing, and growth. Whether through artistic expression, outdoor adventure, and/or mindfulness practices, natural settings can offer a pathway to more vibrant and fulfilling lives. We are extremely fortunate in central New Hampshire to be surrounded by natural beauty.

Sunset Health Education Institute (SHEI) Director Carol Conforti-Adams knows firsthand the healing power of our mind and spirit, as she lives with paralysis from the chest down.  She understands the choice to embrace a wider perception using nature as her resiliency guide to adapt and accept. Now she is living a purposeful and joyful life even as life constantly changes. With her background in health education and her personal experience with the healing powers of the natural outdoors, she has taken her 1780 homestead on rural town lines of Sutton, Warner, and Bradford (where she has lived for 43 years) to create a community outdoor holistic health resource center, for all abilities and ages.

SHEI provides education in a natural setting, promoting holistic wellness and resiliency training. SHEI summer outdoor nature programs, offers activities for self-growth, artistic expression, creating connections, supporting each other through our journeys, and highlighting the importance of incorporating nature into our lifestyles.

SHEI’s Nature’s Way programs are for individuals who struggle with the challenges in life from decline in physical abilities caused by a stroke, MS, paralysis, etc. or folks whose mind is always worried, anxious, stressed, depressed, or hopeless.

On Saturday, June 15, we are excited to host Family Nature Day from 2-4.30 PM. This will be a day to engage children in exploring the environment, nature, art and music activities, conducted by Linden Rayton, Environmental Educator, and Kathy Lowe, musician, artist, and children author. Adults/parents can enjoy the natural surroundings, relax, and participate in an informal climate café co-facilitated by Maria Finnegan, the Director of the Climate and Health Initiative for Caregivers and Kids (CHICKs); and  Michelle Wagner, a mental health educator and advocate. Come spend quality time together, enjoy a nature-focused day, engage in the outdoors with others, learning the interconnections of our earth and our health.

SHEI is also offering evening wellness classes. Please visit our website for details. www.sheinh.org. Pre-registration is required for all programs.