Finding Green Time

As I sit on a bench on the top of a cliff, enjoying the magnificent view, I start wondering what my next blog post should be about. It turns out the answer is right in front of me!

Happy Mind Training Blog | Marc Jacquemin - Ocean View New Zealand
Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand

I love nature, I always have. Since I was a kid, nature has played an important part in my life. I’ve always loved going for walks in the forest, swimming in the sea or lake or just sitting for hours looking at the sunset. There is something magical and unique about spending time in nature.

The best part is that it’s accessible to everyone. Even busy and chaotic cities have their own little pieces of green space to walk in and disconnect. Most places will have a forest, beach or some kind of nature a short drive, train ride away or if you’re lucky a short walk away.

I might be having a bad day, feeling stressed and overwhelmed but when I step outside and go for a walk in nature, I immediately feel better. My worries seem to get smaller, my shoulders drop and I’m reminded that maybe my problems are not as bad as they were just a few minutes ago.

If you’re still not convinced why you should prioritise going out in nature on a regular basis, let me share some tangible reasons why it’s so important to have some green time in your life!

Improved Mental Health

Nature has a profound impact on our mental health. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. The beauty and tranquility of our natural surroundings have a therapeutic effect, helping to boost your mood, enhance self-esteem, and promote a sense of overall well-being.

Boost Creativity and Innovation

Nature is an unparalleled source of inspiration, with its breathtaking landscapes, intricate patterns, and harmonious ecosystems. Immersing ourselves in nature’s wonders can stimulate fresh ideas and unlock creative potential. Your next big idea might just be waiting at the top of that hill! So get out and boost your creativity.

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Waimakariri River near Ōtautahi, Christchurch, NZ

Enhance Focus and Productivity

Distractions in the workplace are often difficult to avoid; a short stroll or sitting on a quiet bench in the park can help us regain our focus. Numerous studies have shown that spending time in natural environments improves focus, attention span, and cognitive function. When you’ve got writers block it’s the perfect antidote.

Reduce Stress

Nature is the ultimate stress-buster. Just a few minutes spent in a green oasis or a weekend getaway in the wilderness can work wonders for our mental and physical well-being. Reduced stress levels translate into increased resilience, better decision-making, and a healthier lifestyle. Find your local park in your next lunch break and go for a 10 minute stroll and notice the difference it makes.

Develop Sustainable and Ethical Practices

As we strive to become more socially and environmentally responsible, nature serves as the ultimate teacher. Spending time in nature not only raises awareness about environmental issues but also deepens our understanding of the interdependence between nature and ourselves. It reminds us that nature isn’t just a resource, it’s a valuable ally in building a sustainable and ethical lifestyle.

happy mind training blog marc jacquemin kayak nz
Kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, NZ

Enhanced Physical Health 

Engaging in outdoor activities and spending time in nature can have significant physical health benefits. Walking, hiking, or engaging in recreational activities in natural settings not only provide exercise but also expose us to fresh air and sunlight, leading to improved cardiovascular health, increased vitamin D levels, and a stronger immune system.

Recharge and Find Work-Life Balance

It’s easy to forget about work-life balance. Nature provides a much-needed respite from the daily grind, allowing us to recharge and reconnect with what truly matters. Knowing when to stop and recharge our batteries is key in leading a more balanced and fulfilling life.

There are many more reasons to go out and enjoy nature, so take the time to connect with nature and ultimately ourselves.

HappyMind Training Blog Marc Jacquemin Ocean View New Zealand
View of Whangaroa Harbour from Duke’s Nose, NZ

Just to wrap up, when I go out and do some outdoors activity, I’ve taken the habit of leaving my phone at home or putting it on airplane mode. Don’t let a work email or a new TikTok video spoil the beauty and calm that nature has to offer.

In our Managing Stress training course we dig into the science behind what causes stress, it’s symptoms and look at many more ways to reduce its impact.

Now, go out, take a deep breathe in and an even slower one out and let nature do its magic.

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Associate Trainer for HappyMind Training

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