Are you aware of your surroundings on your way to work? Better yet, if you work from home do you ever take a few moments to step outside and get some fresh air? What would you say if I told you that it is a proven fact nature actually has a profound and positive impact on your well-being? Simply passing trees, plants and greenery on your way to work can boost your mood and relieve stress. Don’t believe me, click here. So to the peeps that have to drive through a city and around road work every day, be sure to find your green space.
On your entrepreneurial journey you may have felt the effects of burnout or a funk. One of the best ways to prevent this is to surround yourself with that natural green stuff; not what you were thinking, nature silly. You do not have to be a hardcore woodsman to add this into your routine either. Just breathing in fresh air for a few minutes and connecting yourself with the outdoors can help clear your mind of unwanted thoughts.
For example, what is one of the first things you do in the morning to wake yourself up? Most people think caffeine is a sure way to go, right? Well Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester says, “When we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature”. When your mind wants to wake up it goes straight for the caffeine, but in the end it will only turn your teeth yellow and give you major withdrawal when you want to stop drinking it. Instead of reaching for the coffee pot, reach for the handle of the front door and drink in the view, whether it be the sky, park, forest or your neighbor’s small garden pots.
Let’s take a moment and ponder how important the nature factor is:
Nature Can Heal
Literally. Aloe plants help soothe sunburn, lavender oil eases headaches and witch hazel relieves aches, pain and swelling. These are only a few examples of what plants can do externally to a body. Internally plants do even more.
I once read a book, called You Are a Badass. The author, Jen Sincero, discusses being grateful for the food she takes into her body because a study she read talked about how scientists tested plants that were shown love and ones that were neglected. The plants that were shown appreciation and gratitude flourished while the others did not.
Now think of all the times you have regretted your food intake and scarfed down your fries before you had a chance to breathe. That food is not appreciated and therefore your body feels disgusting and you feel bad about yourself afterwards. If you don’t believe me, the next time you eat your veggies or meat (because animals eat plants, too) take a moment to feel grateful for your food. Become aware of how quickly you feel full and nourished because the nutrients were able to help your body instead of you fighting against them.
This thought may seem absolutely ridiculous to some of you, but what’s the worst thing that could happen if you give this a try? You lose a few pounds, become more mentally balanced and your body feels great.
Nature Can Rejuvenate
Humans find nature instinctively fascinating. That is why The University of Minnesota did a study to find out that nature also provides a respite for our overactive minds that refreshes us for new tasks. You are constantly talking to yourself whether you are aware of it or not. You are also probably looking at a screen for more than two hours a day and your eyes are always looking at ads, perfect photo shopped pictures, emails, articles, social media, etc. … You need a place to safely shut down and turn your mind off for a little bit.
So here is a great way to incorporate nature into your day. First thing in the morning go out and take a quick walk before work. If you have a dog, take them along too. Listen to the sounds of the birds chirping, squirrels quarreling over their hidden nuts and bunnies hopping through the tall grass. Make this your new remedy to clear your mind of negative thoughts and self-doubt. Rejuvenate your body in a healthy way by relying on the closest thing we have to magic: the great outdoors. I think this is why some people call nature…. “neat-ure”.
All those corny sayings, like “Be one with nature” or “Go out and get some vitamin- D”, are spot-on. Sometimes things are right in front of you and are so simple to do, but we need a little reminder once in a while to go do them. Nature is selfless and there to be admired and appreciated. You know, those transcendentalists that we learned about in high school had some pretty great theories. You don’t need to become a hermit to figure them out either, and if you still can’t figure out what a transcendentalism is click here. Please remember to get some vitamin D while it is nice out, and in the winter when you do not have that opportunity, place house plants or pictures of nature around your home. I hear they even make sun lamps now…
So now I will leave you with this:
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David Thoreau