Let Nature Restore Your Mind
Most people know on some level that nature is good for them, which is why they take to the country or the tropics whenever their vacation times let them.
But it’s not just the lack of sunlight and vitamin D that keeps people coming back to nature. Most people, especially those in creative and knowledge careers, need time to let their minds rest and reorganize to remain productive and attentive, and nature is the best place to give your mind that freedom.
Nature Gives You Room to Think
The restorative effects of nature have a lot of evidence behind them. Researchers have found that nature helps people reduce stress and anxiety, solve challenging problems, and maintain productivity. Nature can even help restore physical health. Patients in hospital rooms with a natural view recover faster than those without one.
The rush, noise, and hazards of urban life are nowhere to be found in the babbling of a brook or the rustling of trees. Urban and work environments deplete the mind’s mental energies with a constant influx of stressful inputs and irritants.
There’s a reason your brain fights you after working all day. Nature lets the mind refresh by significantly cutting what it has to deal with at any one moment, staying in that relaxing, sweet spot, neither bored nor stressed.
The human mind innately knows how to handle natural inputs after hundreds of thousands of years of genetic experience. Natural environments don’t demand much conscious attention or problem solving.
Nature Gets You Away from the Information Flood
The addictive effects of social media and apps play havoc with people’s attention, and many people, including former social media execs, now worry deeply about the addictive, anxiety-inducing effects of social media.
With that in mind, some people are even taking month-long detox vacations away from social media.
Most don’t have the luxury of such long periods away from the stresses of modern life, but even a short walk in the local park can do wonders. Stay away from the phone, and just be a part of nature for a bit. Treat yourself to the luxury of a few moments without the constant influx of information.
Social media and internet services are designed to draw you back again and again, designed to flood you with so much information that you forget to think for yourself.
In nature, the mind can peacefully work at what it’s good at, subconsciously sorting through some of the massive pile of information collected online, while giving you the time to consider more significant problems consciously.
Nature Helps You Remember How to Think
People who spend a long time in nature report that their thoughts seem to settle eventually, and that with sufficient time their mind becomes free, having worked its way through everything that was anxiously stressing it.
Time spent “doing nothing” in nature is not wasted time. In fact, the mind has a way of solving problems while you daydream, with subconscious processes kicking in when while your conscious mind rests.
Downtime lets your brain understand information instead of merely remembering and regurgitating it without thinking. That is why sparks of insight so often come out of nowhere when you’re thinking about something completely different. Your subconscious was still working away.
Subconscious processes need time to sort through the piles of inflation pushed on you every day. For daydreaming and subconscious processes to work best, the active part of the brain needs to be distracted by something attention-grabbing, but easy to handle, and nature fits the bill perfectly.
Take to nature to give your mind time to refresh, reorganize, and realign.