February 11, 2016

“We can be happier, healthier, and smarter if we weave more nature into our lives,” says leading naturalist Richard Louv, author of The Nature Principle. He points to a surge in studies that strongly suggest a link between the outside and your insides, and that the best mind-body medicine is getting outdoors.

Susan Wenzinger from Intuitive Wellness shares some insights and ideas for boosting your health and happiness below.

Vitamin N (short for Nature), also called the sunshine Vitamin, is found primarily outdoors. Stepping out into nature reduces stress and overwhelm and helps us to feel healthier and happier. The scientific research is being gathered and shows that we benefit in many specific ways. Being in nature can reduce depression, improve our outlook, improve a general sense of well-being and help us focus, just to name a few of the benefits.

Nature is as close as your front door or as far as a trip to the mountains. In between, there are plenty of back yards, gardens, parks, and outdoor spots to choose from. The key is to have a sense of discovery and be open to beauty.

Here are three tips for getting your daily dose of Vitamin N:

  1. Get outdoors for at least 20 minutes every day.
  2. Choose a spot that you find relaxing; take a few minutes just to get quiet and connect with your breath.
  3. Combine being outdoors with taking a walk to double the benefits.

Choose an outdoor spot that feels comfortable to you: ideally light, warm and dry for safe walking. Note there are benefits to getting outdoors even on a rainy or cloudy day as it still brighter outdoors than it is inside. The time outdoors may be used to sit or walk. It provides an opportunity for further quiet reflection as well as physical exercise.

If you are confined to the indoors, then bring nature inside. Consider putting a few easy-maintenance plants around your living space. Visit a garden centre and with simple plants (and the guidance of a gardener if need be), create a beautiful dish garden. If you’re not inclined to care for plants over the long-term, then visit the florist and select a stunning bouquet of fresh flowers. In addition to adding some greenery to your home, put on music which includes birds chirping, running water and other sounds found in nature.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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