Goodbye Grumblings

Find the good

Take your dose of nature: it’s good for you!

I went for hike along the Ottawa River with the Scouts this week, and the gorgeous sunset made it easy for me to decide that my next post would be about nature.

Trees, river, sunset

A dose of nature at sunset along the Ottawa River

Nature is an obvious good. I don’t know of anyone who would say that getting out in the fresh air isn’t healthy. Why talk about it, if it’s so obvious? Why pick something that is so clearly common wisdom?

Because even though we know it’s good for us, we don’t always follow through on that knowledge.  I am of course basing this on personal experience, and making an assumption that others have similar behaviour. If you’re not like this, then I congratulate you and I ask you to please be a good influence on the rest of us by luring us out for a walk in nature when it’ll do us the most good!

I feel better when I spend time in nature

I love the smell of a forest, the feeling of bark under my finders as I brush my hands over it in passing. I’m happy loading up my pockets with rocks and picking out the perfect stick to drag along with me. I have a precious memory of a lull at Cub Scout camp when I lay down on a picnic table among the trees and stared up at the sky, just being still and listening to the leaves in the wind.

Even though I know about the benefits of nature, I don’t act on this knowledge as often as would be healthy. When I’m stressed out, when I’ve had it up to here with people, when I’m grumbly, my first response is not to go out and hug a tree, or at least hang out with it for a few minutes. And yet, this would be the healthiest, cheapest, least fattening and least addictive way for me to feel better.

With spring coming, it seems like the perfect time to reflect on the benefits of being in nature — and to plan to choose nature when I need a lift.

Benefits of nature

In other posts, I’ve mentioned ways to stop grumbling that include imagining a situation from someone else’s point of view and assuming positive intent, as well as eating growlies. I’m adding going for a walk in nature to my tool bag of holding, since it combines the benefits of physical activity with nature.

Tall birch tree

Hang out with the trees for your own good

Next time I’m stressed or cranky, or feel the stirrings of Grumblings, I’ll make a point of going outside and hanging out with the trees, whether it’s in my own garden with my hands in the dirt or going for a walk. For those times when I can’t get outside, or it’s dark, I’m on the lookout for some pictures of trees.

Not convinced? Take a couple of minutes to enjoy this funny video from Nature Rx, which says it all.

So go on, go commune with the trees. You’re doing important stuff! It may look like you’re lollygagging, but really, you’re hard at work on your physical and mental health.

What are your favourite natural places? Do you have an inspiring story of how nature did you good? Send me an email at susan_at_goodbyegrumblings_dot_ca or leave a comment and tell me about your good nature habits. I’d love to hear from you!

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About GrumblingSusan

Word lover. Story addict. Daydreamer. Optimist. Ottawan. Treehugger. Scouter.

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