For all intents and purposes, the winter that came in like a lion is going out like a lamb. It is time to start thinking about using the landscaping around you again. Yes, I said “using” the landscaping.
In case you were wondering how you can personally benefit from using the landscape around you today, read on…
Stress and stress-related illnesses, as reflected in medical records, have increased dramatically among adults and children in Western societies. We have probably all heard of one study or another linking exposure to nature to reduced stress, lower anxiety levels, and help with symptoms of depression. The studies all underscore what we already intuitively know. We can relax in quiet, natural settings much more than we ever could in our offices or typical urban settings. Consequently, in addition to being a huge contributor to the overall value of your commercial property and providing significant marketing appeal, well designed and accessible landscaping can provide a valuable oasis for your employees and residents.
The simple fact is that our fast paced, plugged in, always “on” lifestyles give us brain fatigue. It makes our brains tired of constantly being alert and aware (how many times did you check your smart phone since you began reading this piece?). A “walk in the park” can go a long way to clear up the resulting brain clouds.
While natural settings do still engage our brain, the engagement is effortless. You don’t even necessarily have to enjoy nature or walking to get the benefit. Exposing oneself to nature, even during the winter, or even looking at images of nature engages our so-called involuntary attention, which comes into play when our minds are inadvertently drawn to something interesting that doesn’t require intense focus, like a pleasing picture or a pleasant landscape feature. We can still talk and think while our brains are noticing and appreciating the element, but it holds our attention while it induces reflection.
AS THE SAYING GOES – YOU DESERVE A BREAK TODAY!
The science behind this theory is real, and probably nothing new to you so allow this to serve as a reminder. Go for a walk in a green space around your building or in your community, or find a window where you can just sit and gaze out at some greenery. This is not unproductive lollygagging. On the contrary, it is likely to have a restorative effect on your brain, recharge your mental batteries, calm your nerves, and make you more productive. If nothing else, a walk in the park will give you the ability to stop “doing” all the time and start “being” some of the time.
“Take a walk outside, it will serve you far more than pacing around in your mind.”