6th December: Nature
Today, I am thankful for nature and for David Attenborough because he invented it.
I love being outside in the elements and experiencing the peace, awe and wonder that the natural landscape and its astounding animal inhabitants inspires. Whether walking across fields, being up in the mountains or by the ocean, I deeply appreciate the sense of calm, mindful presence and easy recharging of brain and body that being out in the wild gives me*.
These feelings are not imagined either. Experiments where participants spent time in a park “significantly improved” subsequent performance in cognitive tests, signifying a marked increase in attentiveness, whereby those that spent time in the city streets achieved absolutely zero effect. Even more amazing, is that when Marc Berman and his research team asked participants to merely look at images of the calm, natural world, similar better test results were seen.
Living in London, United Kingdom I am grateful that the Royal Family created and still ‘own’ many of the parks. Otherwise, these precious green havens may have been turned into bland, identical multi-use concrete developments complete with the latest one formula works in every urban area retailers encouraging city dwellers to work 24/7 and never have time to think or have a break, both of which are highly beneficial to productivity, choosing the right partner and reducing stress.
In addition, lying on the beach for considerable periods of time (not elevated on a plastic or metal sun lounger) is thought to reset our electromagnetic field with the earth. This grounding is proposed as good for our health, especially as modern living dissuades us from having much natural or barefoot contact e.g. wearing shoes, sleeping on beds, WIFI etc. The research is not yet conclusive. Despite this, I will follow my intuition and continue to do it simply because it feels lovely and restful. Plus, I like having a suntan. Thank you, nature.
*Indeed, I am known for my “daily dose of green” although I would not liken London to being in a wilderness. Others may disagree. (See About Me page on my website).