A natural mood booster during lockdown

The ultimate pick-me-up – nature  > At a time when so many of us are facing a heightened sense of threat, as well as genuine worries about our future, maybe we should turn to nature for help.

We are living through the Perfect Storm for anxiety. The pandemic has destroyed normality and thrown us into survival mode. We feel vulnerable, lost and adrift like a ship without a rudder.

The only thing that remains unchanged is the nature around us. Mother nature seems not only immune to the Cornavirus, but is thriving on the changes it has brought!

As one client put it …. ‘I can smell the fresh air, hear the birds sing, sense the silence. No planes and cars – it is so peaceful. So beautiful“.

Gardeners are having a field day, cycle shops are enjoying a boom and we are all rediscovering simple pleasures like kite flying, ornithology, rock balancing, cloud appreciation and so on. Oh for the joy of just opening a window to catch the sounds of leaves or scent of fresh rain.

Mother Nature cures

Maybe Mother Nature is showing us the way to help us manage our stress and anxiety

While the impact of experiencing nature on our physical health is less well documented, a wealth of studies have demonstrated the positive effects of the natural world on our mental health.

Even a brief embrace with nature, such as few minutes listening to waves crashing on a beach, enjoying some sun worship or just feeling the wind brushing across our face, can bring down your blood pressure.

Tree hugging therapy

Immersing yourselves in beautiful landscapes, like a wild forest teeming with life and beauty, can affect your very soul.

Even if you live in a city, for the first time you can now hear the birds singing – not coughing! Or how about giving tree hugging a go or take a leaf out of Prince Charles’ guidebook and talk to the plants. Even if you don’t feel any better, it will certainly give your neighbours something to laugh about.

The fact is that anything involving nature gives us an increased sense of meaning and purpose, as well as making tasks seem more manageable.

These concepts are nothing new. Nature-based activities, such as farming and gardening, have been used as part of mental health treatments around the world for hundreds of year.

Dangers of rumination

In fact doctors are prescribing nature therapy for patients with depression and anxiety, including walking and planting sensory gardens (now there is a great idea if you are a city dweller with little outside space!).

Part of nature’s power lies in its ability to wash away whatever is provoking a lot of our stress. Slow movements such as the ripples of water or clouds moving across the sky place effortless demands on our working memory.

And yet they are enough to distract us from spiralling rumination, self-blame and hopelessness. Researchers call this capacity to hold our attention the soft fascination of nature.

So open the window and allow nature open your soul.

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