Whether it’s exercise, fresh air, negative ions, or unplugging from the grid, being in nature helps you slow down, calm down, and get grounded. Author Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” to describe the negative consequences of too much virtual and too little real time. His recent book, Vitamin N, sites studies showing how spending time in nature helps ADHD, depression & anxiety, obesity & myopia, and the immune system. It’s also a good way to disconnect from the demands of a scheduled life and reconnect with your essential self.
I hope this summer gives you an opportunity to get away from your complicated indoor life and spend some time outdoors. In a spirit of playfulness, why not turn off your iPhone and discover the influence of Vitamin N on your body & mind? All you need is a place with more nature than concrete. Set up an experiment to evaluate the N experience- before and after. At the onset, how does your body feel? Is it tired, heavy, agitated, or numb? Is your mind flooded with chatter, judgment, or impatience? Then, spend ten minutes sitting on a rock or bench tuning in to your senses. What do you hear, see, smell, and feel? If your mind wanders off, bring it back to what’s real, right around you. Afterwards, check in with your body/ mind and reevaluate.
Spending unstructured, focused time near trees, rocks, water, and wildlife is a good way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin N. When you take the time to do it, you’ll definitely feel the difference. And, once you do, you’ll want to go back again and again.
NOTE: You can find three interesting and delightful exercises to enhance your N experiment in my longer post at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/ann-642.