The natural world: a cure for everyone
I was born in a small town in the Italian Alps; the town is called the city-garden. I have the green of the hills in my blood. My grandfather was a gardener and a poet who taught me to live life with kindness and respect for people, seasons, flowers and plants. In my childhood I never missed a race in the meadows, exploring the woods and hiking in the mountains ... my dependence on the natural world has led me back into its arms every time my body and my mind are experiencing any tension. For me, a walk in nature, and possibly in sunshine, has always been the best cure for every blues, sadness, tightness and tiredness. Recently I have added swimming in the sea to the regular prescriptions for my healthy lifestyle.
Since I came to live in London I have explored all the major parks in the city because here the green is real and easy to find at every corner. So it doesn’t surprise me at all to read that "nature makes you calmer, kinder, happier and more creative," as I recently read in a scientific article; this is exactly what my body has always told me. But I am pleased to hear that this personal awareness is now supported by scientific studies, after all when science tells us something we are generally more willing to listen.
Scientists are collating a huge amount of evidence that being in touch with nature produces a profound impact on our mind and our behavior, reduces anxiety, calms the nerves, increases our ability to focus and be creative and improves our ability to relate to others. These positive effects are related to the chemical reaction of the brain in the presence of plants, sun and water. The natural world unleashes emotions and reactions, pumping endorphins into our blood stream and, as a consequence, we are more serene and happy.
What other reasons do we need to become more attentive and sensitive to the preservation of our natural areas? And what more do we need to make us choose to spend time in the natural world?
Knowing the effect this has to me, I’ve chosen to make it a daily routine and I’m building my business agenda around it. But it would be enough to make it a regular event for you and your family: a walk in the countryside, a picnic in the park, a day out exploring the lakes or the forests... It is a spectacular detox for mind and body, keeps you away from technology for a few hours and creates sharing and communion between the people involved. But the most spectacular effect of all is that it makes you feel more alive, because the bond we have with the natural world is more powerful than we can imagine and when we re-tune with that world the heart opens effortlessly to the simplicity and glory of the wonder of life on this planet.
(Pic courtesy Abejorro34 for Flickr)