Stressed out? Need a way to reset?
Stare at the above picture or any picture of nature. Seriously, studies have shown that focusing your attention for just 15 minutes decreases ruminating negative thoughts, lowers your heart rate, and improves your working memory.
Want to kick it up a notch?
Get outdoors and immerse your senses in nature! Touching a tree, smelling the forest, looking at nature’s fractal patterns, and listening to the birds gives your nervous systems an opportunity to reset. In nature there is less stimuli to contend with, less information to process, and therefore less things to respond to.
In Japan, the act of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing), is all about enveloping your senses in the experience of the outdoors.
Research has shown that nature affects us in numerous ways
Plunging yourself into the dynamic simplicity of nature benefits you by expanding your awareness and reaffirming your connection to something much larger than just your internal processing. Nature pulls us out of our heads, connects us back to our bodies and to the earth, and reminds us of our interconnectedness in the following ways:
- Walking in nature versus a city improves concentration by 20%.
- Decreases anxiety and preserves joy.
- Enhances working memory performance.
- Increases creativity.
- Lowers aggression and crime rates in neighbourhoods with green spaces.
- Decreases your heart rate, activating your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
- Evergreen trees release phytoncides which boosts the production and activity of our killer T cells strengthening our immune system.
Go ahead, change your screen saver to an inspiring picture of nature, buy some plants, and get outside.