Last month, I became stuck working on some projects I needed to finish. I looked out the window and noticed the brilliant orange-yellow of a larch tree in my neighbor’s yard. Although a conifer, the larch is a deciduous tree and loses its leaves in the autumn. The western larch and subalpine larch grow in the Pacific Northwest and they are usually spotted high in the Cascade Mountains, not in a neighborhood backyard. I threw on my coat and ran outside to take a close look. The sun had come out from behind some clouds and bathed the tree with perfect light. I took some photos, returned to my work and was able to complete my projects without delay. Take a short nature time-out.
On Business Wire it is mentioned that newly published research suggests just 10 minutes of exposure to nature, a few times each week can provide mental-restoration benefits. A short nature timeout can happen in small, urban green spaces or even in your own backyard. Those participating in the study reported having significantly less stress, an improved ability to focus and an increased satisfaction with their mood and energy levels. These benefits were greater in residential landscapes or small parks.
According to Nature Sacred www.naturesacred.org modern life can disrupt our connection to nature, yet research shows that green spaces can improve our heath. The following information is from their website:
Mind-Urban lifestyles demand close attention and tire our powers of concentration. Nature can restore our ability to think and focus.
Body-Our bodies are surprisingly responsive to the presence of nature in our urban surroundings.
Spirit-Simply being in the presence of nature can elevate one’s spirit.
Community-Participation in the creation of urban green space can lead to increased expression of community connectedness and resilience.
Design-Certain natural elements and arrangement of space offer restorative and beneficial experiences to visitors.
(Nature Sacred is a private nonprofit that funds publicly accessible urban green space.)