Several studies have already proved the scientific benefits of walking in nature to our brain and overall health. A study by Barton, Bragg, and Pretty found out that after several visits to the green site, the self-esteem level of the participants had significantly improved. Moreover, they got out feeling less angry, depressed and tensed. How to establish an urban nature connection? What if the access to natural green spaces is out of the way from where you live?
5 Tools to Help You Find an Urban Nature Connection
Grow a small living plant in your office.
Japan’s ACROS Building in Fukuoka is famous for its roof planted with several trees and vegetations. The green architecture lets employees get closer to nature. However, if your office doesn’t have such green architecture, you can instead grow a living plant. A small indoor potted plant that you can put on top of your table will already do.
There are a number of succulent plants to choose from. Some of the most popular ones are Peace Lily, Philodendrons, and Snake Plant or Viper’s bowstring hemp.
One advantage of keeping such plants in your office is that they require little care. Also, indoor plants can help reduce work-related stress, maintain clean air in the office, and can even reduce the noise level caused by high traffic offices. Growing a living plant in your office is an example of finding an urban nature connection.
Take the Time to Walk in Parks or Along Streets with Trees on Your Way Home.
After the day’s work, most corporate people would be rushing out of the office, eager to lay their tired body on a soft mattress. But did you know that taking a short walk along the streets lined with trees and plants can help reduce stress and lessen anxiety?
So, go ahead and enjoy these walking in nature benefits. Take your time in these leisure walks and allow yourself to get connected to nature.
What makes this tip even better is that you feel less tired and almost stress-free once you arrive home. Thus, you can spend your remaining energy with your family or some personal time before dinner.
Visit Your Local Zoo Every Once in a While.
Yes, you’ve read it right! Visiting a zoo can do wonders for our health and can improve our quality of life. A study by Sakagami and Ohta, which was published online in the US National Library of Medicine, examined the effect of visiting zoos on human health and quality of life.
The findings of the study revealed that visiting a zoo helped decrease the blood pressure of the participants. The participants also took a psychological scale questionnaire, which also showed a promising result. In addition, the sub-scales scores revealed that the participants’ quality of life was improved. This proved that walking in nature benefits include both physical and psychological.
Opt for an Outdoor Workout Rather than in a Gym.
It’s a bit tempting to sign up for a gym subscription, especially since a lot of famous celebrities are promoting such a lifestyle. In fact, the health and fitness industry generates about 80 billion dollars per year in the United States alone. While there’s nothing wrong with having a gym membership, it would still do you good to do outdoor workouts.
A good plan would be to alternate indoor workout and outdoor workout or just reserve weekends for outdoor activities. Some people would even do mind-body exercises such as yoga.
You can enjoy several benefits if you exercise outdoors. These include:
- You can breathe fresh air.
- You get to enjoy the environment.
- It helps increase your Vitamin D levels.
- You’ll be more active, thus burn more calories.
- It boosts your mood.
Do a digital detox.
If you spend too much time on your office PC, smartphones, and other gadgets, you will be more exposed to negative energies. On top of that, several health problems are associated with tech-addictions. Such problems include eye strains, posture concerns, and couch-potato illness.
Doing a tech-free detox will help you re-energize your system from the things that stress you out. You can find your balance again and have new perspectives on life.
Tips for a digital detox:
- Start Slow. Do it once a month. Since most jobs nowadays involve using computers and other technologies, going tech-free 24/7 seems impossible. Instead, do it for a full 24-hour cycle once a month, and you’ll surely feel the difference.
- Make Your Plan Known. Letting your family, friends, and colleagues know your digital detox plan will make it easier. You will have fewer distractions, and they can even join you.
- Reflect. Take note of the things you’ve learned from the experience. This will help you cut off those unnecessary time spent on technology. You can also start making a list of the things you can do without, such as television and the internet.
Finding an urban nature connection will not give us health benefits alone. Walking in nature will also give us time to reflect and contemplate future life plans. It’s a good “me-time” without spending money and away from the negative energies of technologies.
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