The Nature HabitNov 09, 2021
We know that spending time in nature is good for us and yet some of us don’t do it and others don’t do it enough. In today’s world, it is easy to get distracted by watching TV, enjoying our favorite electronic gadgets, or spending time on the internet and social networking sites.
This is not to say that technology should not have a place in our lives. However, we should not ignore that our bodies and our minds have other
important needs in order to stay healthy and happy.
Research performed in 2012 by Peter Aspinall, Panagiotis Mavros, Richard Coyne and Jenny Roe suggests that people who spend time in green space showed evidence of lower frustration and higher meditation state.
In their study, participants were asked to walk for 25 minutes through three different areas (zone 1—urban shopping streets, zone 2—through green space, and zone 3—a very busy commercial district). They traveled individually through all three zones while being followed by researchers. The organizers measured four predictors (frustration, engagement, alertness, and meditation) via 14 sensors positioned on the participants’ scalps using emotional-based recognition software.
The researchers measured changes when people moved from one zone to another. They found that when participants moved from zone 1 to zone 2 (urban shopping to green spaces) they showed a reduction in three out of four predictors (frustration, engagement, and alertness) and an increase in meditation. When moving from zone 2 to zone 3 (green space to busy commercial district) engagement and alertness dominated.
I used to hike for hours to get to green spaces, reach mountains and enjoy the scenery. But we don’t need to do this in order to benefit from nature. Regardless of where we live, chances are there is a park or park-like environment close to us.
In addition, many of us work in areas called office parks. Some businesses invest a lot of money to build these park-like environments so that we
can relax, minimize stress and focus more on our work when we go back to our offices.
Ideally, once you establish a habit of spending time in nature, you can combine other habits such as breathing and mindfulness. There is no better place to practice these habits than in nature.
Enjoying nature once a week or even once a month will improve your health and help you focus on other things in your life that are important.
Do you have green space near where you live or work? Can you spend more time outside? How often can you go out during business hours?
Braco Pobric is an Internationally Recognized Positive Psychology Expert and Corporate Trainer. He is the bestselling author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits. Braco is a founding member and Chief Happiness Officer of the Life Success Academy Certified Positive Psychology Master Trainer and former globally Certified Trainer and Business Coach for Dale Carnegie Training. He trained over 60,000 Students in 172 countries.
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