Most of us have spent long stretches of time inside over the past few weeks. But, we know how important time in nature is for our health and longevity. Modern science has proven we intuitively knew: fresh air, time in nature or "forest-bathing" can literally shift our perspective. Apparently even just looking at a beautiful landscape can reduce our blood pressure and make us feel calmer. Here are some explanations as to why.
In celebration of Earth Day this week, I wanted to share some ideas on how we can bring the outside in during this new age of social distancing. Micah Mortali, the author behind Rewilding and founder of Kripalu School of Outdoor Leadership describes this concept: "Any sliver of nature can be a portal to a more mindful way of living." Even if you can't get outside based on where you live, there are simple ways you could "rewild" your way of life.
- Find a beautiful landscape near you and sit down to observe all the sights and sounds. If that’s not an option sit in silence and visualize yourself in nature! Or try looking at these 5 images that will bring you instant calm. - Try gardening - even in a windowsill! I’ve been thinking about buying one of these or these to try my hand at a herb garden. Has anyone done this? -Take a slow drive (or walk) through nature. (I've been doing lots of neighborhood walks with my kids). -Watch nature documentaries or go through a virtual hike in a National Park.
No matter what's available to you right now - simply noticing or imagining yourself in nature can literally calm your nervous system and reduce cortisol levels, increase immunity and provide a myriad of other health benefits. Even just 20 minutes will do the trick! Please write me and let me know what works for you!
Olive Oil Sommelier, Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean lifestyle and eating for health and longevity.