I went for a walk in nature today and it made all the difference in the world.
Finding myself wallowing in some negativity, instead of languishing in it for any longer, I made the crucial decision to get outdoors and walk. Simple recipe for relief of bad thoughts – as soon as my feet started moving, my senses were awakened and I found myself in the present moment, breathing in the rich scents of diverse flowers and plants, feeling the wind in my hair and listening to the river move up against the shoreline in rhythmic tones of sound. And before I knew it, my worries had been banished and seemed so trivial (which they were, of course), I was feeling more alive and happy. I attribute this directly to my 40 minutes of nature time.
The remarkable healing powers of nature are, of course, not a new revelation, but given our species’ preference for living in crowded, concrete urban areas, more and more evidence is showing how even urban nature experiences can help heal. And in fact, this was the setting for my walk today – on a quiet path by a river, within sight of homes and people, a pocket of wilderness in an urban setting.
I came across another fascinating article on the topic the other day:
The article challenges us to nurture a new relationship with nature in our urban environments. In his book The Nature Principle, Richard Louv asks, “What if we reconsidered our cities as an engine of biodiversity and human health?”
Nature-rich cities rather than cities with some nature; not just liveable and sustainable but nature-rich and thriving, that’s the way of the future.
“Nature matters to people. Big trees and small trees, glistening water, chirping birds, budding bushes, colourful flowers – these are important ingredients in a good life.” – R. Kaplan