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The Nature Effect

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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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.

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