Set your mind free

Set your mind free

It’s completely dark in your bedroom while you are lying in your bed, being still, concentrating on breathing and trying to clear your head of thoughts.

Except, what’s the time? You wonder if it’s already 2:30 or even more, and you count the hours before the alarm clock rings. Checking the clock pretty much confirms your guesses. It’s 2:24.

Trying to clear your mind didn’t work out. You have been worrying about everything and anything. And now there’s one more question to worry about.

Why can’t you relax? It’s a vicious circle, isn’t it?

Today more than half of the world’s population live in cities, and people continue to migrate to more fast-paced urban areas. This makes sense after all since schooling, services and opportunities for cultural participation are more varied in larger cities.

However, urbanisation has changed our lives drastically. Long gone are the days when we lived more or less close to nature. Of course, it wasn’t really romanticised as a lifestyle. It was the natural way of living. It was the only way of living. Flora and fauna were there with people regardless of whether they wanted or not.

It’s not a simple task to judge if life was better back then but one thing is for certain: urban life hasn’t made our lives problem-free. Vice versa, in addition to all the good things it somehow includes a great deal of stress and anxiety.

In urban settings, efficiency, individuality and creativity are highly valued. Economic pressures and technologization affect all aspects of our lives.

At work, we are pressured to achieve more in less time, and this mentality has also reached out to our free-time. We have numerous hobbies, activities and projects which we like having and sharing with others but often they become something that we merely need to accomplish, and we are not enjoying them without a goal in mind.

We also feel the urge to be connected all the time and report our doings to our friends and followers online. It is not enough anymore to be watching the telly on Saturday nights, but we seek for new experiences on our days-off and post pictures and updates of these occasions on social media.

It’s easy to be distracted by a flashing screen, constant flow of messages and creative activities and forget to relax and then feel tired and exhausted after some spare time.

Sometimes what we need is just a moment of silence and stillness to help us unwind.

But we forget that there is no better place for it than in nature. Being outdoors is a simple and affordable way for us to escape our hectic environments. There is no need to go overboard and order high-tech hiking gear and head out to the wilderness because cities have green areas and recreational parks where you can wander around.

It’s even scientifically proven that nature relieves stress. Natural symbols are easier for us humans to read which means that our brains are working in almost half the capacity of their potential while we marvel Earth’s creations, instead of the shapes of apartment buildings or traffic signs.

A moment in the silent embrace of nature makes us notice everything that happens in the surroundings and forces us to shut down all disturbing factors in our minds. In nature even the colours seem brighter, ears adjust and focus on soft humming sounds of birds and eyes follow other creatures as they too explore delightful surroundings.

There is another world outside cities and our fast-paced life, but many times we forget that it exists. We forget that spending time outdoors is natural to us. It is so natural that spending time outdoors reduces stress and makes it easier for us to concentrate. 

How does this all come together?

It’s easy to claim that the relaxing power of nature is a myth or childish nonsense. Well, a critical approach is definitely a good idea at times of all possible and impossible kinds of life coaching businesses.
The catch here is that you can try it yourself. Let's entertain your thoughts a bit. What if spending 15 or 30 minutes in the nature actually makes you feel good?

At least it will not make things worse if the weather isn’t way too bad. And, of course, there is a chance of some kind of a neutral result. What you get then is time, and it’s up to you how you want to use it. If there are difficult things you have to work through, this might be a good time to think about them. If you are very very excited about something good happening in your life, it’s not the worst idea to spot some butterflies at the local park, not in your stomach.

The point is that you are spending valuable time with yourself when you are spending time with nature. This may sound like nature isn’t involved in that specific moment at all. It is. The effect of nature is an essential part of that progress that none of us can tell it apart.

As we all know, seeing the forest for the trees can be difficult, and that’s probably one of the big reasons we tend to forget the great value of outdoor moments. It’s easy to think that the mankind is able to solve all troubles without the help of others. At the same time, we work hard to fix all the environmental problems. There’s nothing wrong with this, but are we ready to let nature fix our lives too?

Sometimes we don’t need to travel at all to enjoy the magic of outdoors. We just step out of the door and take a few steps in our garden or patio.

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