Breathe in the Peace

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Photo by Laura Beyer

Okay reader, I don’t know about you, but the weather around me has finally started to act more Spring-like. Last year at this time, Minnesota still had seven inches of snow on the ground. Ew.

We were blessed with a 75 degree day full of sunshine yesterday. I took the opportunity to sit out on my back deck, letting the hot sun finally soak into my blindingly white skin.

Sitting out there, I could literally feel my stress melt away. All my anxieties about the upcoming school week, finals, and other end of the semester activities dissolved as I took in the sight of new buds forming on trees, baby blades of grass poking their heads up through the ground, and the world just coming back to life after winter.

It was gorgeous. Such a peaceful moment for me, and I look for those whenever I can find them. Having anxiety means never quite knowing when my body will finally relax from overdrive.

So what is it about the outdoors that brings down anxiety? Is it the warm weather, telling me that summer is coming soon and most of my anxieties will be gone? Is it the fresh air I’m finally breathing in after so many months of dry winter air?

Maybe, but it could also just be that people and their bodies respond positively to the outdoors. Especially areas where there is a lot of greenery.

The article, “Greener neighborhood reduces depression and anxiety,” discusses an interesting new study out that proves those who live near more greenery reported lower rates of depression and anxiety.

This is exciting news for people, like me, who suffer from anxiety. I can quell my stressed feelings by simply taking a walk near some green areas in nature.

The study proves the “attention restoration theory,” which states that the more time people spend outside in nature, the better they can concentrate.

I know as an anxiety sufferer, that when I start feeling the chest tightening, heart pounding, overwhelming feeling of an anxiety attack coming on, I have no concentration whatsoever.

Simply by going outside, or even looking at pictures of outside if you’re really feeling lazy, can reduce those feelings and instantly give a boost to your concentration. This is awesome news. Who knew going outside could be so beneficial?

This article highlights other beneficial reasons to going outside, including increased vitamin D levels, that make taking a nature walk sound like the best quick fix I’ve heard about in awhile.

So, if simply going outside can reduce anxiety, increase concentration, and do loads of other good things for you, why not head out there for a few minutes a day? I know that’s where I’ll be.

 

 

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