The Nature Effect
This is the time of year to take everything outside and reap the benefits of nature.
Nature brings out the best in us. I have discussed with some of my clients who have Seasonal disorder the benefits of sunlight (with sunscreen on). When we spend time outdoors in the sun our Serotonin levels are up which elevates our mood. Vitamin D which we can get from the sun will help keep our bones healthy, help prevent cancer, keep our immune system up and it affects our moods in a positive way.
Exercise and the outdoors- we know that exercise improves our mental health. It increases our endorphins while reducing our stress hormones. Outdoor exercise is more beneficial then indoor exercise. Being outdoors improves our self-esteem, moods and inspires us. We become fascinated with the beauty of nature which sparks our creativity. Nature inspires us to move. We become connected to our spirit when we are outdoors. Water also brings a calming effect so if you can take a long walk around a lake or at the beach. For all of you parents, Nature is very soothing to both kids and adults. So take the family outdoors for some fresh air, a long walk, a hiking trip, swimming at the lake, etc.
*Bonus: nature helps us recover quicker from chronic illness.
Relaxation – when we are outdoors we tend to relax, refuel and recharge. Being outdoors boosts our energy levels and wakes up our senses. When we are outdoors we can hear the birds sing, hear the sound of the ocean waves, we smell the salt from the ocean. We even taste our food better when we are outdoors, we tend to eat slower and enjoy each bite. Go outdoors barefoot and take a walk through the cool grass or the hot sand at the beach.
*Bonus: Being outdoors gives us a momentary boost of happiness which can last 24-48 hours.
Nature and work – if we go outdoors at our lunch break even if it’s just for 20-30 minutes you will come back feeling refueled, inspired and more creative. It will help improve productivity. We know that even sitting by a large window that lets us look outside at the trees and grass helps us to feel more creative and be more productive
Being in the moment – when we spend time with nature we connect to our spirit. We let go of the fast paced world and go inside of ourselves.
As an exercise: go outdoors and sit in silence, after a little while you will feel at peace and hear your inner voice. Lately, I have been sitting outdoors near a corn field and the silence brings such a sense of peace and contentment. After a few minutes, you can feel your breathe and hear your soul. It’s quite an incredible experience.
For me, being outdoors makes me feel alive. I feel like everything in nature that surrounds me is alive. Nature sparks something within me to feel love all around me. I can’t explain it in better words then that. Nature = love!
For more information please visit my website: www.dlcounseling.com