Monday, April 17, 2017

A to Z of Happiness: N - Nature #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

With the advent of cable TV, internet, and now mobile phones, our pastime activities have got more and more confined to the indoors. A lot of us spend weeks and months without any proximity to natural surroundings. But studies have shown time and again that getting involved with nature makes us healthier and happier, and not just because of the little bit of exercise we might get in the process!


Nature

Spending time with, interacting with, or even just observing and appreciating nature can have a marked difference on our happiness and vitality. Here are some ways in which being connected to nature promotes a sense of happiness.


How Does Nature Make Us Happier?


  1. Creates Acceptance.

    Spending time outdoors and interacting with nature, causes a shift in our perspective. We remember that we are not alone, that we are a very tiny part of something infinitely bigger and grandiose. And that helps us ACCEPT things as they are (covered under 'A'). We understand that everything around us has a role to play, and so do we.

  2. Reduces Anxiety and Hyper-Tension.

    There is something about nature that takes our stress away. Whether it is the deep blue of the ocean or the earthy greens and browns of plant life. Or maybe it is the realization that a force so much bigger than us has created all of this. And, in comparison, all our worries tend to fade away into insignificance. And CALMNESS descends over us. (Covered under 'C'.)

  3. Encourages Us to Explore.

    Being in nature brings out our sense of wonder. The different patterns on sea-shells, the varying colors on butterflies' wings, the shapes in the clouds, a new nest in the trees... we keep striving to discover more. The "new" doesn't frighten us anymore. Rather, it excites us. It fills us with a sense of possibilities. We become more open to EXPLORE. (Covered under 'E'.)

  4. Promotes A Sense of Gratitude.

    My shop is just a 2-minute walk from my building, but even that little bit of time fills me with GRATITUDE (covered under 'G'), as I notice all the trees along the way and the clear blue sky above me. And I'm reminded how nature provides for all my needs. Most of all, it reassures me of my own place in the grand scheme of things.

  5. Inspires Creativity.

    You look up any article on dealing with writers' block, and one of the suggestions will be to spend some time in nature! nature fuels our curiosity. Why do apples fall down and trees grow up? How do birds fly and fish swim? nature is perhaps the biggest source of INSPIRATION (covered under 'I') for human minds.

  6. Brings about Mindfulness.

    Spending some time with nature, just experiencing it and observing it, can help us become more grounded in the present moment. Whether we are gazing at the stars billions of light years away, or listening to the birds chirping at our window sill. (In my case, it's the top of my shop shutter! And they are busy chattering away right now, as if the fate of this world rested upon their tiny shoulders!) A connection with nature makes us more MINDFUL. (Covered under 'M'.)

  7. Makes Us Kinder and More Generous.

    In a research, one group of participants were made to stare at some very tall trees, and another group spent the same time looking up at high-rise buildings. The first group showed a measurable increase in feelings of awe, and demonstrated more helpful and ethical behavior even long after the experiment was concluded. Being in nature enhances our ability to connect with others and feel a part of one whole, making us more XENIAL. (Will be covered under 'X'.)

  8. Improves Our Health.

    Exposure to nature has scientifically proven benefits on our physical and mental WELL-BEING. (Will be covered under 'W'.) It strengthens our respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and alleviates depression. It relieves the attention fatigue and "burnout" caused by constant information overload in these times of ubiquitous technology, and restores our depleted mental circuits to their normal health.

Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says that "nature is fuel for the soul". His advice to us is that when we feel tired and reach for that cup of coffee, we should instead go for a stroll in the park.

Nature makes us "feel more alive". No matter how busy our schedule may be, we must always try and find some time to appreciate the beauty and oneness of nature around us.

How do you make time for nature in your life? Do you have your own vegetable garden to nurture? Or a dog perhaps, to lead you in search of rabbit holes? Or are you a part of some photography group that holds weekly "photo walks"? How do you get your daily dose of nature?

This is my 14th post for AtoZ2017.

I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook.
You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

(Continued below sponsored content)


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34 comments:

Molly of Molly's Canopy said...

This is all so true. Getting out in nature also helps us ergonomically. Sitting at a desk or keyboard or hunched over a cell phone leads to unhealthy postures, while getting out in nature helps us recapture the way our bodies are supposed to move. Happy AtoZ and I'll have to check out your book!

Anita said...

Nature is wonderful. Nice to be surrounded by natural beauty.
Getting lost in nature to find ourselves makes sense.
'New Life' #AtoZChallenge

jaish_vats said...

Nature is beautiful and spending time there has benefits... We moved house a couple of months ago and there is a beautiful reservoir behind our new building that can be reached easily by walk.... I am grateful for that and yes its therapeutic

Patricia said...

Most days I walk in my neighborhood. I am blessed to have a balcony with a beautiful view of the city trees and of course, I have my flowers to enjoy.

Geetika Gupta said...

Yes! Spending time in nature is like a therapy for me... and it's just one minute of will power to decide to get up from bed or not.. And it's totally worth it!

Cheers
BoisterousBee

Sreesha Divakaran said...

We have so much to learn and absorb from nature. Agree with everything you've written here. We should all just get away once in a while, turn gadgets off and go to at least the neighborhood park and inhale the fresh air. Works quite like meditation.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chicky - it'd be good to see the trees greening and the flowers blooming, rather than sitting squared eyed at this thing ... I usually don't take my phone with me when out - so I have a relaxed time as I walk around ... then I regret it - as I want to take a photo or two ... such is life - cheers Hilary

http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/o-is-for-orkney-islands-adapted-breeds.html

Amrita Basu Misra said...

I absolutely love nature. I have balcony gardens in 3 of my balcony and my bedroom windows .I never travel anywhere for vacation without nature around.Great post.

Shirley Corder said...

I love this post. Yes, nature has so much to offer. I have a Jack Russel terrier who makes sure I spend at least half-an-hour walking near the sea every day. But I really need to get out more. Thanks for the nudge! Have a wonderful day. P is for Plan with Purpose as you Build a Better Blog ~ #atozchallenge

the little princess said...

What an amazing post! True, being amidst nature does bring a wonderful feeling of happiness!! And I loved the pointers that you gave, even more reason to love nature!

Vinodini Iyer said...

The first thing I want to do in the morning when I wake up, is to walk out on my terrace and absorb the goodness of nature - the greenery, the skies and the fresh air. Nature can do wonders with our day ahead. Love the thoughts expressed in this post, Chicky.

Vidya Sury said...

I think most of all Nature helps us see ourselves in relation to a much much larger Universe, that that puts things in perspective. Suddenly our perceived problems look diminished. I love your post, Chicky!

Meal to the Heart said...

Indeed nature do wonders especially when we are in depression.
Good points covered over here
Interesting post, enjoyed a lot
Thanks for sharing
Dr Bushra
Do visit mineP for Positive outlook to deal with Stress During Pregnancy

Shilpa Garg said...

Just today we organised a Silent Nature Walk for our client and it was such a rewarding experience. We enjoyed the stillness around and mindfully appreciating the beauty around us. Of course, it relaxed us as well.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh yes, that's a very valid point, Molly. The posture, plus the eyes! So much strain on them too!
Thank you for stopping by. Do let me know if you get my book! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Anita! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Within walking distance? That must be awesome, Jaish! You found a cool abode! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

I love my balcony too, Patricia! I get to see some amazing sunsets from there! :D

Lady In Read said...

Chicky, love the post - every point you make so true... nature is indeed fuel for the soul. I need to get out more and I am lucky to live in an area where great hiking trails and the great outdoors are really close by..
Thanks for visiting my post.. I am playing catch up of sorts too :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

It is totally worth it, Geets! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

It does indeed, Sreesha! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hahaha! Yes, the phone does come in handy for taking pictures, Hilary! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh Wow! Three balcony gardens! That is so awesome, Amrita! :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hi Shirley! So you live near the sea? That must be pretty cool! So far, I've only dreamt of walking on the beach! :P

Chicky Kadambari said...

It soothes our soul, doesn't it, Princess?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Yupp... the fresh morning air! Nothing quite like it, Vinodini!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Exactly, Vidya! All our problems suddenly become so tiny!
Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Dr. Bushra :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Where did you go, Shilpa?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Where do you stay, Lady In Read? It must be really cool to have hiking trails close by!

Sanch Writes said...

Totally agree with you about nature and its relationship to happiness! Being out in nature always calms me --- which is why I'm off on a hiking trip. I start this Sunday till Friday --- out in nature near the coast and in the bush :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh yes, Sanchie! You sound happy already! :D
Have a great trip, girl! And come back fully recharged!

Anmol Rawat said...

Nature is basically the first thing that you actually notice about a person and that makes you tag along with them. Well written!
I hope you have a better health now and picking up with your challenge. It should be real frustrating right?

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hello Anmol. I skipped two posts (L and P). Haven't been able to get to them yet. Will try to do at least one tomorrow.
Thank you for stopping by! :)

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