Being cooped up indoors during the winter, or while working at home, has a detrimental effect on mood, leading to depression, insomnia, and a loss of productivity at work due to lack of energy. Because of this depleted energy, well-being in general suffers, resulting in further decline in productivity and motivation.

Thankfully, exposure to nature is one of the best ways to quickly enhance mood, relieve stress, and release the common causes of depression. Singing, dancing, drawing, writing in a journal, enjoying a dinner with friends, nearly anything that can reduce stress is going to have a positive effect on productivity and overall well-being. Yet there’s something special about being immersed in nature that sets it apart as a fundamental, tried-and-true method to near-instant stress relief.

One of the really great things about nature as a source of stress-relief is that gazing at serene images of nature can have nearly the same stress-reducing effects as actually being outside among rolling hillsides, babbling brooks, and sun-dappled forests filled with jubilant birdsong.

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5 Ways to Embrance Nature and Enhance Mood.

Bring the outside in – it can be hard to get outside all the time. Maybe it’s monsoon season where you live, or perhaps you’re buried under a heavy blanket of snow, and going outside for a leisurely stroll simply isn’t an option.

If this is the case, bring the outside in with the help of potted plants. Stock up on framed images of peaceful landscapes, or tranquil island sunsets, too

Even something as simple as watching nature documentaries can relieve stress, lower irritability, reduce mental strain and alleviate anxiety.

Open the Curtains – Research has shown that the vitamin D your body absorbs from the sun has many positive effects on mood elevation. As mood improves, so too does productivity and well-being.

If the weather does not permit for a brief afternoon walk, try sitting next to a window and gazing at a framed portrait of a stunning mountain range. Sunlight exposure is incredibly effective when it comes to treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is vital to improving an overall sense of wellness.

Be In Nature – The combination of greenery, fresh air, and natural light is a great way to instantly feel energized, and relaxed. Make use of the natural spaces in your area, whether it’s a garden, park, or walking trail.

Carry a camera along with you, as well as a journal, or a satchel, to capture photographs, jot down important ideas, and gather up flowers and other greenery you might like to preserve as an arrangement when you return home.

Saving some memories from your walks will be beneficial on the days when the weather doesn’t allow for a brisk walk, or a leisurely lap around the nature trail. Simply open a window, enjoy the fresh air, and read a few entries from your journal.

Consider creating a gallery wall of nature photographs you’ve collected during your relaxing strolls to help you return to a place of centered calm and peace on days when your anxiety levels are high.

Pet a Dog – There’s no need to have pets of your own to connect with an animal and experience the calming effects of petting a dog or playing with a cat. Plenty of places offer opportunities to connect with an animal for a length of time.

Some animal shelters, for instance, will allow you to take a dog out on a play-date to the dog park, or a beach, or any sort of adventure you might enjoy with your furry friend.

Should the idea of borrowing a four-legged friend for a totally paw-some day of exploring nature seem like too much of a commitment, consider opening a window, listening to birdsong and watching funny cat videos until your mood is lifted. The goal is stress-relief to increase productivity and well-being after all.

Plant a Tree – Gardening is a fantastic way to relieve stress, elevate mood, and become immersed in nature. Whether you spend a single day planting one tree, or spend several weeks tending to a plot in a community garden, becoming involved directly with the environment can have major impacts on your sense of wellness and purpose.

Perhaps you’re not quite ready to begin such a bold initiative as a community gardening effort, and that’s okay, try recycling and composting as alternative methods to assisting with environmental efforts.

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Let Your Love of Nature Grow Over Time

Nurturing the planet in these ways not only reduces stress and anxiety, but also promotes a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and well-being. Even if you start small, with a picture of a tree on your computer desktop, for instance, and you want to find nature background images that instill a sense of serenity that you can gaze at between stressful moments at work, what’s important is that you start somewhere and let those seeds of wellness grow over time.

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