By Josee Smith
Stress is something everyone experiences.
For some it comes and goes in spurts, while others are victims of chronic stress that is ongoing. Stress can come from work and personal sources, including hectic lives, and highly demanding jobs that put undue pressure on an employee.
With the many life responsibilities and situations all of us have, such as, the job, the kids, the pressures of a relationship, dealing with bosses, spouses, finances, home responsibilities and just the general hectic state in which many live can take its toll.
And, on top of the regular “everyday stress,” certain events can yield additional anxiety and tension that only exasperates the situation.
Work is one area where stress is most prominent as deadlines, demands and pressures cause people to become overly tense, anxious and stressed out.
Working for long periods of time with intense focus and concentration can put an inordinate amount of stress on the brain and the body that sits without moving.
There are many ways to deal with stress, but, recent research has confirmed what some people already know, and that is the fact that nature can help.
Many experts have long stated that taking breaks helps to clear the mind and alleviate stress, but, it is really the type of break that is taken that will determine just how much stress will be alleviated.
Many researches have concluded that general cognitive performance and memory were improved when people were exposed to nature.
They also found that those who simply looked at images of nature in a dimly lit and serene environment gained more clarity of mind and a general cognitive boost.
The positive effect may lie in the fact that being in nature allows one to completely relax, and does not require any type of cognitive focus, it is simple enjoyment, which allows one to just “be” instead of having to focus and concentrate. This alone can go a long way to permitting the mind a rest period that allows for a reduction in stress.
So, in contrast to taking a walk down a busy street, where one might become overly stimulated and be on high alert when having to focus on traffic, avoiding people and other hindrances, a walk in nature allows one to just walk, without having to look out for anything.
Wide open, natural surroundings provide several opportunities to improve mental and emotional health, which includes alleviating stress.
There may be several reasons.
• Going outside typically results in people getting some exercise, even if it is just a simple stroll.
• Being out in nature allows one to just “be” without any type of pressure, focus, concentration or effort required on the part of the mind.
• Nature is peaceful. No one can argue that fact. What can be more calming and relaxing that breathing fresh air, hearing the gentle swish of leaves from branches swaying in a light wind, listening to the soothing sounds of water as it rushes down a small stream, gazing at a beautiful rainbow as it glistens under the clouds, or being surrounded by the gorgeous, greens, yellows and reds that are the stars of a beautiful fall day?
• It is also likely that when we are outside we instinctively breathe deeper, and breathing is one of the best ways to alleviate stress.
So why not take a walk in the park, visit some gardens, go to your local mountains, the beach, eat a picnic at the park on your next lunch break, go anywhere where nature is abound and see how it makes you feel.
Nature is peaceful, by nature.
When one is in a peaceful setting, it can go a long way to bringing an inner peace, which, will inevitably lower stress levels and bring calm to the mind, body and soul.
You can find more tips, strategies and techniques to help keep you healthy with the 10 Holistic Approaches to Improve Your Health and Wellbeing guide at http://www.joseesmith.com/holisticapproach
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