The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature. The positive impact of nature is well documented, and one I personally view as an antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Unless of course you get stung by a bee, going back to nature helps with reducing anger, fear and stress and increases positive feelings. This in turn will make you feel better emotionally whilst contributing to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.
Research has proven that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
Going for walk and or a swim has been vital for my mental health and I’m sure most people feel that way too. The beauty of walking is that you need any expensive sports gear or need to go very far, if you think about it, all you have to do is stand up and move using your legs, walking is that simple!
Swimming takes a bit more time and planning but is a great way to connect with nature.
The more time I spend with nature – the more I become aware and in awe of it of its beauty and power.
Wherever we live – the city, the interiors – there is lots to be in awe of. The infinitely variable shapes of trees, leaves that can colour depending on the season, impressive array of flowers, beetles, spiders and insects or birds and butterflies and each of playing a part in the local, national and global ecosystem.
Whenever I travel across Oman be it for work or pleasure, I set myself a personal challenge to spot something different – be it a building, a flower, or the way in which mountains look different as the light of the day start to give way to night.
Mobile phones are amazing, we have developed an unique relationship with them, no wonder, we can talk, email, message, do our banking, listen to podcasts and music all at our fingertips.
This has changed the way we connect with the world around us, in some ways a great thing, in other ways we are in danger of losing a sense of where we are and what we are doing, in other words missing the moment.
Most experts in the subject tell us that we should be in the moment more often because this is a good thing for our health.
As counterintuitive as it has become, I have deliberately made efforts to walk and run without my phone as part of switching off from work and switching on the self-care. This helps me to see and hear much more of what is around me.
Growing up, like many of us I didn’t pay enough attention to all the natural value around me but I came to the conclusion that it`s never too late.
The benefits of connecting with nature are huge. I hope to pass these benefits onto my granddaughters, who I cannot wait to take to the park when I’m next back in England.
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