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The Nature Effect

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the nature effect. So we all know the effect that nature can have on our mood. But over the last decade, many studies have actually shown that spending time in natural environments lowers stress, improves mood and boosts mental health. But getting to a forest or a beach, of course isn't always possible.

But the good news is, is that you don't need to travel far to get a fix of the healing power of nature. Even if you find yourself in the heart of a city, all you have to do is take some time to notice, to pay attention to the natural world around you. So for instance, you can look up at the sky and watch the clouds streak across in their ever changing, shape shifting patterns. You can watch a sunset or a sunrise. You can listen to the song of morning birds or the sound of the breeze in a tree.

And if possible, you could take some time to walk in a park or just sit somewhere and enjoy the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the snow or the flowers in spring, depending on the season. And these simple, active awareness of nature have a very uplifting, restorative and healing power. It quiets the mind, soothes the nervous system and reconnects us to presence and calm. One really interesting study points to the power of this nature effect. Robert Taylor Homes was a public housing project in Chicago, situated between roads and railway tracks, totally isolated from nature.

It was a place where violent crime and drugs were a problem. They were rampant. And the buildings were really barren, paved with concrete. And in the late 1990s, the University of Illinois conducted studies with the Robert Taylor Homes project to examine the impact of physical environments on wellbeing. The researchers looked at the effects that trees had on people's lives and found that just a few trees and some grass around an apartment was enough to significantly improve the resident's mental health and cognitive functioning.

They found, in fact, the greener a building surroundings were, the lower the crime rate. This research ultimately led to Chicago City government spending $10 million on planting 20,000 trees throughout the city. My invitation for today and ongoing is, whether you're surrounded by city or Cypress trees, turn your attention to the beauty of the natural world every now and then, and let it restore you, centre you and heal you. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, "It's not so much for its beauty that the forest makes its claim upon men's hearts as for that subtle something, that quality of air and emanation from old trees that so wonderfully recharges a weary spirit." As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

The Nature Effect

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the nature effect. So we all know the effect that nature can have on our mood. But over the last decade, many studies have actually shown that spending time in natural environments lowers stress, improves mood and boosts mental health. But getting to a forest or a beach, of course isn't always possible.

But the good news is, is that you don't need to travel far to get a fix of the healing power of nature. Even if you find yourself in the heart of a city, all you have to do is take some time to notice, to pay attention to the natural world around you. So for instance, you can look up at the sky and watch the clouds streak across in their ever changing, shape shifting patterns. You can watch a sunset or a sunrise. You can listen to the song of morning birds or the sound of the breeze in a tree.

And if possible, you could take some time to walk in a park or just sit somewhere and enjoy the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the snow or the flowers in spring, depending on the season. And these simple, active awareness of nature have a very uplifting, restorative and healing power. It quiets the mind, soothes the nervous system and reconnects us to presence and calm. One really interesting study points to the power of this nature effect. Robert Taylor Homes was a public housing project in Chicago, situated between roads and railway tracks, totally isolated from nature.

It was a place where violent crime and drugs were a problem. They were rampant. And the buildings were really barren, paved with concrete. And in the late 1990s, the University of Illinois conducted studies with the Robert Taylor Homes project to examine the impact of physical environments on wellbeing. The researchers looked at the effects that trees had on people's lives and found that just a few trees and some grass around an apartment was enough to significantly improve the resident's mental health and cognitive functioning.

They found, in fact, the greener a building surroundings were, the lower the crime rate. This research ultimately led to Chicago City government spending $10 million on planting 20,000 trees throughout the city. My invitation for today and ongoing is, whether you're surrounded by city or Cypress trees, turn your attention to the beauty of the natural world every now and then, and let it restore you, centre you and heal you. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, "It's not so much for its beauty that the forest makes its claim upon men's hearts as for that subtle something, that quality of air and emanation from old trees that so wonderfully recharges a weary spirit." As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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