Dr Rangan Chatterjee says in his book Feel Better in 5 that one of the ways (there are many) to feel better is to immerse yourself in nature every day. We weren’t meant to sit indoors all day or walk in concrete jungles.
It is an idea that appeals to me. But in a busy life (or if you’re still locked down), even just 5 minutes outdoors may present more of a challenge or overwhelm than you’d feel ready for.
And that is why I appreciated so much reading that there are more ways to achieve this than the obvious. He suggested to one patient to start out by just watching a nature video first thing in the morning instead of scanning emails and social media. (The patient did this and quickly and naturally progressed to spending time outdoors – plus bonus: his insomnia went away.)
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life, it is that I am a goal ninja instead of a barn stormer. I need tiny, incremental steps towards a goal, sneaking up on it, so to speak. So this awesome advice was a perfect fit for me, especially given how sluggish and averse to going outside in the mornings I’ve become. There are amazing nature videos on YouTube, and having them on in the background while I breathe and meditate has already – in a very short time – contributed greatly to starting the day in a peaceful, centred frame of mind. It even means that I’m finding my way back into Scripture, something I’ve been struggling with the last while.
It has made me realise how mentally noisy my mornings are when I dive straight into my notifications. And how much I like it to have that noise removed for a while and rather drift down into silence.
The world needs more of that.