It’s no surprise to anyone that nature is good for us. There are oodles of research papers documenting the abundance of amazing benefits that the great outdoors has in store.
Some people are nature junkies (guilty!) and want to embrace its benefits at every opportunity. Others enjoy the great outdoors, but modern living prevents them from experiencing it as much as they’d like. While some others claim that nature simply isn’t for them – however, that doesn’t mean that they can’t, or shouldn’t, benefit from it without the need to go ‘wild’.
We can all reap amazing benefits from our natural world, no matter how small our encounters are. I believe the key to reaping useful benefits is the frequency of our interaction.
Camping and climbing mountains may not interest the majority, however introducing nature in to our everyday living can provide just as much value, if not more, to our overall health and well-being.
Nowadays it’s both somewhat easy, and difficult, to regularly immerse ourselves in the natural world. It is certainly more accessible than in recent years, however our patterns of living in this modern world can often pull us away from it.
One way to ensure a regular ‘nature fix’, is to be mindful of our day to day lives, create habits and introduce small changes, so we reconnect with nature in a very simple but frequent way.
We can start with what’s right on our doorstep (literally) and what we are in complete control of.
1. Our living spaces
With not too much effort we can bring nature into our everyday living by introducing natural materials in to our homes.
Sky, earth and water can surround us through wooden floors, fresh flowers and planting, flooding our rooms with natural light, including tokens of nature such as sea shells in the bathroom or paint a mural of an exotic beach or mysterious forest on a feature wall - even a simple fish tank, can help bring that feeling of nature in to a living space.
Creating the essence of nature through décor can be achieved with earthy greens and browns, vibrant blues and uplifting yellows, clean fresh whites and crisp stone greys. Nature excites all the senses, so playing soothing sounds of nature throughout your home can provide a calming environment. And remember, these beautiful sounds of nature CDs don’t have to be solely for bed time. Why not start your day off the right way by listening to it over breakfast?
Creating daily habits can be the most beneficial. Walking bare foot in your garden for a few minutes every day, can really help ground yourself and provide you with that vital few minutes of ‘you time’. A simple 5 minutes first thing in the morning and last things at night, can help you achieve calmness and clarity.
While you re-connect with nature, you dis-connect with unnecessary stresses. Fresh air is often undervalued and underestimated. We all have access to it, and no extra time in your day needs to be taken up to embrace it.
Every morning, why not throw the doors open wide and let the outside in! Flood your house with natural light and fresh air; it’s a great start to the day. Or each morning and night, establish the routine of taking just a few seconds to stop and really appreciate that sunrise and sunset. Everyone can spare a few minutes each day – so establish the habit of just taking a bit of time out from the rat race and really make those few minutes count.
Can you make a few small changes so you can frequently connect with nature and improve your lifestyle? Could you sit outside on your lunch breaks? Could you bring your laptop outdoors to work on? Can you have your breakfast in the garden? Can you create a ‘summer house’ in your garden to retreat in? Can you introduce a water feature in to your garden or home, to create a tranquil and therapeutic feature? Can you encourage wildlife in your garden so it enriches the time you spend in it? Can you walk a bit slower through the park, and remember to look around you a bit more? Can you put the mobile phone down and lay back to watch the clouds?
There are many ways in which we can experience everyday nature. Why not choose a few to introduce in to your life and see the benefits?