long weekend plans

Go Outside: How Nature Can Clear Your Mind

Why the Great Outdoors is great for you, and how to make the most of it.

Just a couple of days ago I read a piece in National Geographic that I just couldn’t pull myself away from, titled This is Your Brain on Nature“. In the article, cognitive psychologist David Strayer shares what he calls the “three day effect”: It highlights the ability for our minds to think more clearly, rationally and creatively after just three days of being immersed in nature. 

Three days in nature? This is, of course, easier said than done. If you can’t find three days to spend fully immersed in nature (we hear ya), here are five ways to at least connect with nature in the flow of your everyday life. 

1. Watch the sunrise. Most of us don’t have plans at five or six in the morning. Set your alarm, walk outside with a cup of water, tea or coffee, and celebrate the unfolding of a brand new day. There is truly something magical about being awake before the rest of the world.

2. Stand barefoot in the grass. Morning, noon or night, take a walk outside, remove your shoes, and ground the soles of your feet on the cool grass below. Visualize fully connecting with the pulse of ground and earth underneath you.

3. Eat lunch outside. Instead of the office break room, bring your lunch outside and feel the breeze on your skin. Take a few deep breaths and really invest in consciously taking a break to reset in your day.

4. Keep a plant in your workspace. Can’t get outside? Bring nature to you.

5. Walk instead of drive. Obviously this might not be realistic if you have a long commute each day, but perhaps you can walk to drop your kids off at a friend’s house, or take a stroll to your morning coffee or the post office. Whatever is do-able. The important thing is to leave the car at home when possible  and put your feet to work as you breath in fresh, clean air.

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