Being out in nature is a liking of mine since I could walk. I never really wanted to stay indoors or maybe this was due to mum wanting us out of the way? Off we would bounce into the great wide open to meet up with friends off our estate to play hide and seek or manhunt. Further afield than this, when I was older, being out stemmed from when I completed part of the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Being outdoors has always been part of the routine. I love the feeling of the wind and rain on my face so it doesn’t really bother me being out in all weathers. I love the feel of it. The coldness, the heat, the wet, dry, ice, thunder, you name it and afterward, there is satisfaction when I get home. A mental health miracle!
The longer I am outside the better. The walks I go on are sort of little adventures that help me reset at the end of the day. But, what I have been trying to do more recently, is to go out first thing in the morning. If I lived in the countryside it would be amazing to listen to the birdsong every morning and how it seems to wake the rest of the animal kingdom up. But seeing as though I live in suburbia, to be able to make the most of the surroundings is not particularly difficult.
I live in a town called Burscough which many years ago, was a rural, agricultural and farming oasis. Now an up and coming town with the investment of homes and businesses, the growth that is happening rapidly. Aside from this, there are still many walks that I can go and make the most of which still have the same effect on me – relaxation. To be able to relax in this day and age with every distraction there is possible to hinder you, the importance of ‘recycling’ yourself from time to time.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Dr. Mathew Wright conducted a study on how being outdoors for two hours per week can improve your own health and wellbeing. I can advocate for this as it is a pastime that I enjoy. No matter what the day can throw at me, or how the mind behaves, it cannot take away the ‘freedom’ of being outdoors. With this comes what seems, an instantaneous come-down, from the stress or anxiety you can feel at times. I don’t know what it is. It may be the views of the countryside, the fresh air across my face but something inside is triggered.
The feeling of being such an insignificant piece in the whole conundrum of the universe is humbling. The awareness that we are here for a short time so we need to make the best of it – and why not? Enjoying what nature has to offer no matter how big or small will go a long way to helping you overcome what ails you.
The problems that we face in life can be labelled in two areas in my opinion:
1 – Life Equanimity – to remain calm in different situations
2 – Life Problem – question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.
This study also reveals that the need to be walking or performing any other exercise is not required. You can just sit, relax and enjoy the view!
We cannot stop the issues happening in our lives but we do have an element of control in how we deal with them. With what I am learning at the moment in life, is that remaining calm in any given situation is the right thing to do. But not always easy.
Being outdoors can certainly go some way to helping this.
The sun that drenches us in the warmth that feeds our souls. This is not the only thing it can do. Used wisely, it can protect us and provide us with benefits. Known as the sunshine vitamin, it can help our bodies to maintain healthy teeth and bones and may protect against a variety of conditions.
Being outside helps the body to produce vitamin D. This is important for a variety of reasons and include reducing flu symptoms, risks of diabetes and aid in the prevention of cancer through slowing the growth of cancerous blood vessels.
According to the information presented through the links, a vitamin D deficiency can present some issues with our health such as:
- Getting sick or infected more often.
- Painful bones and back.
- Depressed mood.
- Impaired wound healing.
- Hair loss.
- Muscle pain.
Get outside and have fun – it doesn’t cost anything and it is all around us. I can vouch from personal experience that I feel energised when I come in from being with nature. I also am very rarely sick in the form of colds, flu etc – being depressed with anxiety and PTSD can impact on me mentally which I am redressing the situation. Well, trying to.
To cement the narrative further, the BBC have created a piece on their site stating the importance of nature and health and wellbeing and is worth a read when you get time.
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