A fascinating new study from Stanford University researchers highlights the effects of nature on mental health, specifically how spending time in nature alters brain activity to improve emotional health. Read the New York Times article here.
Various research studies have shown that city dwellers have a higher risk for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression, with a reduced incidence in those who have access to parks and green spaces. Even a brief visit to a park is enough to lower stress hormones; a simple stroll in nature can improve one’s happiness and attentiveness.
Nature clearly nurtures! Whatever the scientific explanation, we’ve intuitively known all along that being in nature de-stresses and replenishes, connecting you to an unconditional well of loving energy available to all creatures (including people). You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a luxury Caribbean retreat – it’s as easy as taking a walk in the nearest park.
A few other tips to tap into Mother Earth’s unconditional love for one’s emotional well-being:
1) Buy a bamboo plant (or two) for your office! Take frequent breaks from work to rest your eyes by looking at your plant, which energizes and destresses the meridians that are essential for your eye health.
2) Enjoy the beauty of flowers. Flowers represent the energetic peak of a plant; the presence of a bouquet or tending to your rosebushes can give you a powerful Qi boost.
3) The best exercise: a slow walk in nature. Walking slowly and with a slight smile, take the time to enjoy your surroundings; birds chirping and trilling, the trees swaying with the wind.
Originally published on TCM World Foundation's blog and republished with permission.