Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nature is a Tranquilizer --- With No Side Effects!

Lately, I have been awestruck by the beauty that surrounds us here at our place in the woods. In fact, I am so excited by the grandeur that surrounds us that I can barely contain it. 

And although I do my best to capture this splendor in through photography, the pictures don't include the musky, fresh, damp smell of falling leaves and fragrant grass.  Nor can I show the soft choir of the birds: geese squawking overhead, ravens complaining loudly in the perch, sparrows fluttering in the bushes.  

The fall leaves create a careless, reckless canopy across our soil, as trees, almost naked now, can be seen in all of their structural glory. 

I confess that sometimes I feel so love with this place that is makes me ache with gratefulness, and I feel as thought I never want to leave, not even for a day. I revel in this beauty which is as a caress to my soul. 

Have you ever been anyplace like that? Had the feeling, that a place in nature feeds your spirit and mind? If you have, you are not alone. In fact, even science is starting to recognize that nature is a antidote to stress.

You could even say that the beauty of nature is a tranquilizer. And the best part is that it has no side effects or worrisome interactions.  

I believe that nature has been designed for us: to heal us, physically, mentally, and spiritually. And science confirms this belief. A 2010 study done by the University of Sheffield found that individuals who were even just presented with images of peaceful nature scenes were more tranquil, and their brains were more connected, than those who viewed images of busy traffic. 

Well, if just looking at the images had that great of an effect on an individual, how much greater much be the effect of actually being physically immersed in a tranquil nature scene! 

And the flip side of the coin was that just viewing a picture of traffic caused brain connections to be disrupted. Wow! So, what kind of connections are we losing after a week of having to sit in the middle of busy traffic? No wonder we feel so stressed out! 

An article from the University of Minnesota refers to several more studies which point to a number of mental health benefits obtained from spending time outdoors, including stress reduction, better relationships with others, and the ability to pay better attention.

Therefore, I encourage you to find yourself some nature this week, and simply bask in this natural tranquilizer for a few moments. It will be well worth the investment in time! 

And tell us your stories. Do you have a favourite place, that makes you want to sing out with joy? Where is it? How often do you go there? 

Love Sharilee. If you like what you are reading, sign up for regular updates with Blogger or through my Facebook page.

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