Yesterday, after a long day at the computer, I stepped out my back door and plunked into one of the metal patio chairs.
I tipped my head back, closed my eyes, and listened to the melodious chatter of two goldfinches, perched in the river birch above my head. I breathed in the sweet scent of magnolia blooms and felt the cement pavers rough and warm under my bare feet. When I opened my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a hummingbird zip past the lilac shrub, its tiny body a flash of jewel tones in the afternoon light.
I sat outdoors just ten short minutes, but by the time I stepped back into the house to prepare dinner, I felt like a new person.
The positive impact of nature on our minds, bodies and souls is not news to Florence Williams. She wrote a whole book about why being in nature, even for just a short while, makes us happier, healthier and more creative.
“Scientists are quantifying nature’s effects not only on mood and well-being, but also on our ability to think – to remember things, to plan, to create, to daydream and to focus – as well as on our social skills,” Williams explains in her book, The Nature Fix.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to remembering things, I can use all the help I can get. Skimming, scrolling, texting and sound bites comprise the bulk of my communications and entertainment these days, often leaving my brain feeling like a flashing, clanging pinball machine.
…Today I’m over at The Art of Simple, writing about 3 Reasons to Spend More Time Outside. Click here to read the rest of the story over there.