Most of us are not even tapping into the hidden potential
How often have you told yourself, ‘I ‘need to clear my head for a moment?’ ‘I find myself saying this regularly during times of overwhelm, stress or if I’m drowning in a challenging task. Creative blocks, learning fragmentations, too much to do, and insufficient time can send our minds into a blank state. It can also overwhelm our nervous system, causing exhaustion and making us more susceptible to cold and flu. But what if there was a hidden prescription for health a few feet away from your surroundings? Would you take the time to tap into its power to create a healthier and more enjoyable life? New research has surveyed over 300 adults in Philadelphia to measure their self-analysis in connection with nature, including their experiences, which also filter into the foods and drinks consumed the previous day. This helps the researchers to estimate their daily fruit and veggie intake. The demographics were gender, race, income, and education within Philadelphia during the 2010 census. This data was collated between May and up until August 2017. You may be surprised that those participants closely connected to nature showed a more varied diet by eating many more fruits and vegetables. Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, an associate professor in Drexel’s CoDrexel’s Nursing and Health Professions and lead author of the publication, says, “We found t “at people with higher nature relatedness were more likely to report healthy dietary intake. Therefore, regular interventions with nature-based activities may lead to a greater improvement in dietary quality.” These fi” dings could change how we think about our natural surroundings. Take, for instance, workplace incorporating green spaces or urban greening into city planning. What about nature strips or promoting nature-based experiences in the classroom for children to enjoy? The potential for offering green spaces is enormous. It’s no surIt’se that through my own experience, nature has given me so many beautiful & peaceful moments amongst the chaos. I experience creative & conceptual blocks reading complex university material or conducting research for my assignment! These things add to my growing overfilled plate, which sometimes trickles into less of a work-life balance. Nature seems to offset that balance for me — here’s how. Here take regular walks in the morning and during the day. I don’t particularly like nighttime strolling because I don’t get that visual experience. The night sky with all its glory is lovely but gives me green grass, trees, and beautiful flowers to look at any day!
Two: Find a nature strip near your workplace
I don’t have time for a lunch break when in the office; I always stroll past a tiny natural strip. I’m not the only one, as this minor park-like feature is filled with many people on benches, eating lunch, reading a book or conversing with a colleague.
Three: Get a plant for your desk at work and home
I have a plant on my bookshelves, but my office desk is cramped. This plant may be small, but it’s grown. It’s developed with me through the years. Pick something that appeals to you visually & something suitable for an indoor environment.
Four: Search on Pinterest
If all else fails and you can’t find some visually appealing images, look at them! Better yet, why not add one to your screen saver? I do! My screen saver reminds me of the place I love most and wish to visit one day soon (which is Santorini at the moment).
Five: Sometimes, comfortable clothing helps encourage walking
I feel peace and comfort when I wear my favourite sneakers, pants or top. Lucky for me, work is quite casual. I pride myself on choosing consciously comfortable clothing! That helps me get out the door and walk during my breaks. Plus, it helps me to increase my pace. But, unfortunately, wearing uncomfortable clothing and shoes stopped me in my tracks! So keep that in mind next time you subject yourself to heels (bring a spare pair of sneakers for your lunchtime walking adventures).
Key take away
While we sit on our chairs day in and day out and confine ourselves to a desk — it’s essential to break away from stale, air-conditioned air and fluorescent lights in favour of a green break. It doesn’t take much time to re-set your mind, body and spirit. I get outdoors for about 20–35 minutes maximum, which helps clear my mind. Try getting outdoors every day and see what changes occur just from doing that one thing. How are your mental health, stress levels, overwhelm and anxiety? You will notice a shift and likely accelerate those benefits if you add some movement to that. For example, try walking or power walking whilst listening to something relaxing on your headphones. Without this profound yet straightforward habit, I cannot perform or think at the level I need to — to have clarity of mind, be abundantly filled with creative ideas, and have a pleasant personality for those around me! Have you tried green therapy, and what has been your experience?
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