Get Outside!

Do you feel sluggish, exhausted, or bored? Get outside! Recent findings published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology indicated that people who spent time in natural settings felt more alive, instantly had more energy, and had a heightened sense of well-being.

We often reach for caffeine when feeling fatigued, but this research suggests that simply placing ourselves in the outdoors for a brief period of time can instantly boost our mood and energy level. Furthermore, simply recalling the memory of lush green surroundings, or the view from the top of your hike when you are experiencing times of stress or sadness, can offer some of the same benefits. Why do you think so many people have their computer background set to pictures of beaches, mountain tops, sunsets, or gardens? Not to make you bitter that you are stuck inside, but to remind you of the exhilarating feeling of being surrounded by natural beauty.

This study found that being in the presence of nature for just 20 minutes each day is enough to significantly boost vitality. Obviously, being in the presence of nature is difficult for those who spend their days in office buildings, but there are ways to incorporate nature into your lifestyle.

First of all, everyone should have a plant in their office. Find a variety that is easy to care for, and suits the size of your office. Plants not only purify the air around us, but act as a little piece of nature amongst the very unnatural world of technology and business.

Instead of taking a coffee break, take an outdoor break. Eat your lunch outside, or if the weather does not permit it, sit in a sunlit corner of a coffee shop, concourse, or a part of your office other than your desk. Make sure that you can see the outside world, even if your view simply consists of buildings. Being in the sunlight releases Vitamin D into your body, boosting your mood and energy levels.

Visualize yourself surrounded by whatever nature scene makes you feel happy and peaceful. This recent study showed that the simple act of thinking about nature can boost your energy almost as much as being there.

Place visual reminders of vacations, hikes, or trips that you have taken around your office and home. When experiencing a particularly stressful day, look at photos of the times you have spent in nature and recall the feeling that it gave you. Meditating on your own memories of nature will instantly calm you down and increase your energy.

So, get outside if you can, and if you can’t, bring elements of the outdoors inside your home and office. It will instantly boost your mood.

-Nicole

 

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