There are those moments in life when you could really use a pick-me-up. I had a few of those days last week. At first I let myself watch a movie, drink tea and eat cookies for a while, because that is just totally ok sometimes. But I found that, in the end, what most helped make me feel better, was some time outside in nature.
Here are the reasons why, and how you can use nature to lift your mood!
Luckily, nature is always there to fall back on. Whether you are having troubles at work, are facing big changes or are dealing with social issues, you can always count on nature to make you feel alive again.
It might be kind of obvious, but the best way to feel the effect of nature, is by actually being outside. Everything you feel, hear, see and smell, combined with a good dose of fresh air, that will instantly calm your mind. You don’t have to go very far for this. When possible, of course, I would recommend going to a real forest or other big stretch of nature. But when that is not within your reach, then the small park around the corner will work just as well.
While you are out in nature, you will probably get some physical exercise as well, right? Whatever form of exercise you choose, whether you are walking, cycling, horseback riding or canoeing, what matters is that you use your muscles. It is believed that exercising releases a hormone, serotonin, in your body, which induces a feeling of happiness and reduces stress.
For me, exercising is easier when I’m out in nature. While I like sporting indoors as well, in nature it doesn’t feel like exercise at all, and I am always tempted to walk just a bit further, to get to a beautiful spot, or just to enjoy the fresh air a bit longer.
Take a Break in the Sun
Moving is all very well, but also take some time for a break. It’s a good thing to take a moment to look around and take it all in. And if you could find a spot in the sun for your break, that would be perfect! I know it’s hard during these cloudy autumn days, but as sunlight on your skin also causes increased serotonin levels, it is an extra help to lift your mood.
And when there really is no sun to be found, well, then just enjoy your break without it.
During your break, or while walking, or whenever really, take a deep breath every now and then. Be aware of how it fills your lungs with fresh air and take note of all the different scents you can smell. It is a very small and easy form of meditating to make yourself aware of your body and your feelings. And it might clear your head as well!
And most of all, just enjoy your time in the outdoors. It’s great just being there, isn’t it? So don’t worry about all the other stuff that is going on in your life. Only focus on your moment of relaxation out in nature, that is all that matters at that moment.
I hope being out in nature will make you feel happy, relaxed and at peace with yourself once more. And hopefully you will be able to keep that blissful feeling with you when you are home again.
Do you often go out into nature to clear your mind?