Friday, December 10, 2010

Nature Deficit Disorder & The Beauty of Outdoors

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is
     to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone
     with the heavens, nature and God.

Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and
     that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple
     beauty of nature.  I firmly believe that nature brings solace
     in all troubles. 
                                                                                 - Anne Frank 

It is agreed upon that contact with nature increases mental health and psychological benefits. Nature is SO healthy to be in, yet in our culture today, we often spend very little time in it. We get up, get ready and go to work or school, participate in other activities, clean, do homework, pay bills, go to bed, and do it again. There are days I get so busy that I can forget to even look at the scenery as I drive past it. This isn't healthy. When I was growing up I was expected to spend most of my summers outside playing, making up games, and being creative. Not only is nature psychologically health and can lead to a decrease in stress, but it allows children to engage in imaginary play, and helps them to develop creativity. Now days, children are lacking this.

The psychological community is now beginning to recognize the extreme importance of spending time outside. here's a link to a youtube clip we watched in class the other day. It sheds some good insight onto this issue:
Here's another link to an article. Go educate yourself:)

Please, go outside sometime during the next week. Breathe in the cool winter air, enjoy the wind in the trees, the forest, beaches, lakes...wherever you live. Go out and enjoy it! Look at the Christmas lights:) And enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of it.

Here's some of the beauty I've seen as I've tried to intentionally focus on what's around me:
 Outside the building I work at

 View from my balcony each morning

 Sunset on my drive home from work

Not quite outside. But it was a Christmas Tree, so it sort of counts! 

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