I have to admit, I had a blissful weekend planned at home with my husband and 2 boys; no work, no plans (besides watching NCAA Basketball Final Four of course;), just thought we could really enjoy each other’s company and take it easy…well, that sort of worked out! Amongst the whining and brother battles we did have moments of peace.
One of those moments was our hike through our family bush lot. I just love being out in nature and watching my boys play with sticks, fall in the mud/snow (can’t believe we still have snow!) and eat snacks around a fire. It really cleanses the mind & spirit. A recent article in National Geographic Magazine “This is Your Brain on Nature” shows the research behind why spending time outdoors is so important for our mental health.
In the article, David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist specializing in attention, eludes us to the perfect antidote to our modern lives: nature. He explains what he calls the “three day effect” as a cleaning of our mental windshields that occurs when we’ve been immersed in nature long enough. He demonstrates this through a group of outward bound participants who score 50% better on creative problem-solving tasks after three days of wilderness backpacking. That said, he continues on to explain that any time spent in nature is beneficial, whether it’s time in green spaces or a walk in the park – they have even shown benefits to our stress levels from looking at pictures of the natural world. So, the take home here is to spend more time outside!
“When we get closer to nature—be it untouched wilderness or a backyard tree—we do our overstressed brains a favor.”
A detox should be about body, mind & spirit. Nutrition & supplementation help detoxify the body, but don’t forget about the health benefits of cleansing your mind & spirit as well. Nature is one (important) way to cleanse the mind, but there are many other things that can help as well such as meditation, reading an uplifting book (one of my favourites is Buddhism Plain & Simple by Steve Hagen) and yoga/exercise. Be sure to incorporate these into your detox, as well as into your everyday life.
Oh, and one more thing. I apologize for missing my day 5 blog, but I thought I owed it to myself to really take in the nature of this blog and have a “mind cleansing” day (or maybe it was just the weekend and I put it off, but the first option sounds better so I’ll stick with that;)