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Take a 5 minute dose of nature: revisited

January 3, 2011

Back in May  2010 I wrote a blog entitled

Had a Bad Day? Take 5 minutes but GO OUTSIDE and walk around! Preferably in a park, a garden, at a flower show, in the bush, and best of all….. add a tranquil body of water as well!

However so much depends on attitude towards life doesn’t it? Which one of these people is going to benefit from their 5 minute dose of nature? Their individual characteristics (e.g. aspects of personality) and their outlook on life seem to be determining their responses to a walk in the park ….

A review of 10 research studies involving 1252 people found that even small doses of outdoor exercise can benefit you. As little as five minutes at a time can measurably improve both your mood and self-esteem. The studies showed that all types of green exercise led to improvements in mental health indicators. From gardening by visitors to university farms, to walking and sailing activities for young offender groups, as well as walking by members of urban flower shows. So it doesn’t take any time at all to make you feel better! And a full day of activity causes another spike in the level of benefit.

The lady in the photo

However, the lady in the photo is not even going to notice the beauty of nature….her attention is focused on the flies! Or it could be any number of things that she could be distracted by! So, what she has to do is trick her brain into believing that the experience is doing her good (despite the flies!).Resilience is the key. She must focus her attention on the positives and, if she practices this her brain will learn (it’s plastic remember!) and she will benefit!

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