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Nature as a stress reliever

National Seashore in Truro offers great trails for stress relief!
Melissa Kitchen 2012

According to Randy White of White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning group,

A substantial amount of research and literature has documented the positive effects of the natural environment on the well being of adults. Time spent in or viewing nature has been shown to contribute to better psychological well-being, superior cognitive function, fewer physical ailments, and speedier recovery from illness. One research study even showed that viewing trees on the commute to and from work has a positive impact on family well-being.

Nature pulls us out of our ego based inner thoughts and grounds us in the magic of the world around us. We can see we are not alone. We are part of something bigger and our worldly worries often diminish when we see the natural world goes on around us with out much worry. The birds aren't worried about stock market crash. The trees still grow tall and bud in the spring regardless of the price of gas. And flowers will continue to open no matter who's in the white house.

Our everyday concerns are often real and help us in our survival, but we often attach more to them and the stress of what we can't control is killing us. Look at the wonder of the natural world ... the flow of nature ... and ride along with it.

Action Steps:

Bring nature indoors. Fresh cut flowers, a soothing fountain, a sand and rock garden all help bring nature in when you can't get out to it.

Take a walk, jog or sit. While hiking and jogging outside offer well-documented benefits, there are many rewards that can be had from just sitting and observing nature around us.

Take the time to smell the roses. Walking to the mailbox, the store, or a neighbor's? Notice the trees, plants, and insects around you.

Share some time with Fido. Our pets can bring our attention to things we don't notice on our own. Dogs are a great example of how to savor every shrub, fallen leaf or patch of grass with all of our senses.

Bird watch. Take a hike specifically to listen to the birds or set up a feeder and watch from the window. Their sounds and mannerisms are mesmerizing.

Listen to the sounds of nature. Listening to nature outside with our eyes closed is a wonderful experience, but if you can't get out a CD of birdsongs, waves, or bubbling brooks can bring similar results.

Enjoy the vistas of some priceless landscapes. Even if you are city bound, take a trip to an art gallery or museum and get lost in the landscapes. Take a walk in the Italian countryside or a sandy beach. The settings are limitless.

Bring your meditation outside. Sitting quietly and listening to the sounds around you is a great way to bring the focus away from your thoughts.

Tend the garden or yard. Weeding, edging, raking not only provide physical activity but the rhythm of the tasks and time in nature is also a benefit.

Feel free to contact me at I’d love to hear your experiences as you build your own Balance Before Burnout Reserves.


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