The fast pace of today’s technologically automated world has severed our bonds with nature. More than ever before, people are rushed, stressed, overweight, and depressed. Nature has many health benefits to offer in combating these, but all too often these days that offer is disregarded.
studies show that our environment contributes up to 70% of our stress
Your entire well-being is affected by the physical, mental, and emotional stresses of your daily life. Getting outside into a natural environment and being active is one of the best things you can do for your health. With the internal calm that comes from being outdoors, moods lift, it’s easier to think positive, and there’s a sense of harmony with the world around you. A reduction in stress levels can also boost immune systems. One scientist has even found evidence that the scent of grass has a calming effect on out of control drivers, i.e. “road ragers.”
Serotonin—a mood-regulating neurotransmitter manufactured in our brains—levels are known to increase when we are outside. The well-known “runner’s high” is one example of exercise endorphins and fresh air at work, leaving outdoor runners less anxious or depressed than those who opt to use indoor equipment.
the EPA estimates that we spend more than 90% of our time indoors
Most of our thoughts can be broken down into three types—plans, memories, and judgments. Based on this, the PMJ technique was designed as a mindfulness exercise to clear your mind and let go of any lingering tension when outside.
How you do it:
When walking, jogging, or running, take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Pay attention to the movement of your body and your surroundings, the ground under foot, the weather, colors, and smells. Let thoughts in, process them as a plan, memory, or judgement, but then release them, do NOT hold onto them. Keep your mind clear and free in the present.
You can enhance this technique with aroma therapy. Look through the nearby foliage (pine needles, honeysuckle, catnip, et cetera), pinch some off and crush it in your hand to release the essential oils. Inhale deeply and let the effects take hold. Keep your foliage find with you for the duration of the walk, taking sniffs as needed to relax or energize.
outdoor air is 75% less polluted than indoor air in the U.S. per the EPA
Do your lungs a favor and get outside. Fresh air is rich in negative ions which have been linked to an improved sense of well-being, heightened awareness and alertness, decreased anxiety, and lower resting heart rates. If you make time for moments in your workout for direct physical contact with the natural world around you, it will deepen the connection you’re establishing with your environment, and ultimately yourself.
Our guests love the outdoor trails here in Holmes County and we encourage early morning walks to get a real sense of the majesty of nature all around us here at the Inn at Honey Run.