How time outside is good for your health
Spending time outside is good for your health and it doesn’t require you to go far, run fast or climb a mountain. Simply sitting on a garden bench and being outside can be very helpful for physical and mental good health.
Your body needs nature
Nature is clever. It has provided all that we need to thrive on this planet and this includes fresh air and natural light. Yes, there are pollutants and allergens in the place beyond your home or office windows, but indoors you also live amongst dust, fumes and more.
The best idea is to get out to somewhere filled with grass and flowers and the odd wandering animal and breath in deeply. You will quickly notice how real fresh air and actual natural light will transform how you feel.
Your body requires elements that the outside can provide. Mostly, your body needs sunlight to produce Vitamin D. Seasonal Affected Disorder, known as SAD, can actually make you sad. It makes you feel like you can never get enough sleep and that you have random aches and pains that you can never pin down. Nature has the right ingredient, sunlight, to help with this.
Break the cycle
When you start to feel your mood slipping, getting outside can break the mental cycle. Most workplaces now recognise that resilience is an essential quality in an employee. Therefore, taking those 10 minutes to have a sit in the office garden on your own could be a sure sign that you understand how to be good at your job. Get outside, take a moment away and you feel better.
A way to manage mental ill-health
When we deal with stress for too long, it has a habit of transforming into anxiety. Anxiety means your thoughts feel out of control as they run away with you, giving you lots of possible scenarios and problems that require your attention. You might not feel that you can stop these and that you are victim to the increasing sense of panic that this never-ending noise can create.
But if you get outside and be present in nature, the chances are you will feel better.
What does this mean and why does it help? Well, your brain cannot process analytical thought and process senses at the same time. If you are processing your senses, you will stop the runaway train of your thoughts. You will not control the thoughts but quieten them for a moment to give yourself time to recover.
If you get outside and listen to birdsong, smell the flowers, feel the breeze on your face, look at the beauty of the landscape, you should recognise that the noise of your thoughts has quelled. This process is called being present because you are focused on where you are right now. It allows you to take a break from the stress.
A step further
If you find these moments of being present powerful, you can practise and work towards being grounded. Being grounded is a wonderfully calm feeling of just being a part of this moment in time in this place.
You sit in your garden on your bench, and you notice the texture of the wood beneath your thighs. You feel the ground beneath your feet and the faint touch of a breeze, and you purposely choose to feel sensation, with your eyes closed.
Some people call this meditation, and you can buy audio to help you get to a peaceful, grounded state. However, really, this is about permitting yourself to take a moment amongst nature and heal yourself a little bit each time.