With fall now in full swing, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the rich colourful hues and crisp autumn breezes. But did you know being outside can actually make you happier?
According to several scientific studies, embracing nature can increase your overall happiness and improve your mental health. Studies have found that nature makes us feel more alive and energized, which in turn boosts our mood.
For me nature is the ultimate therapy. It helps me to walk away from my stresses and gain some much needed perspective. All of my nagging thoughts seem less significant when I’m taking in the beautiful scenery just outside my door.
It seems pretty straightforward, but all too often we get bogged down by life’s responsibilities and we forget to stop and enjoy the view. For instance, take my coworker who I met with just the other day. His office looks out onto a clearing flanked by trees ablaze with red, yellow and orange leaves. It was so breathtaking I just had to say something. But he hadn’t even noticed. He was so distracted by his nasty cold and a desk full of assignments that he hadn’t even taken a moment to look outside.
While we might not be as fortunate to have that kind of view from our window, there are lots of other ways to get outside and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature.
Here are a few of my suggestions to help you boost your happiness by embracing the great outdoors:
- Go for a walk – Take a stroll in your neighbourhood park. Or if you’re feeling ambitious, get your blood pumping on a nature hike.
- Go for a ride – With winter just around the corner, head out for one last ride on your bike or rollerblades before the snow hits.
- Plan a pick-up game – Enjoying nature need not be a solitary venture! Grab some friends and start a pick-up game of football or soccer.
- Get creative – Let nature be your muse and snap scenic shots with your camera or collect vibrant fall leaves for some DIY crafting.
Your Happy Challenge
My challenge to you this week is to unplug from your T.V., smartphone or computer and get outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Give it a try for as little as 20 minutes and see how you feel.
How do you spend time outdoors? Share your thoughts!