How 30 Minutes With Nature Keeps You Sane

How Taking a Sanity Walk Can Reduce Stress

My spiritual center of gravity is nature. It has a calming effect on me. Whenever I get overwhelmed and need to sort and declutter my thoughts, I jump in my car and drive to my go-to park or find the trails near my home. I get lost in the scenery and remind myself there is something bigger than my problems. No matter the season, nature is always talking to us. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons as they both inspire transition and deeper reflection. Spring is a time of blooming and new beginnings. Birds are chirping and bumble bees are flitting from blossom to blossom doing their part for the grand ecosystem.

“Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would.” — E.V.

I’ve recently been at a few crossroads in life personally and professionally. Overall it’s been an amazing path of self-discovery. Sometimes it takes a sudden loss of a loved one to remind you what’s truly important in life and get you dreaming again. I thank my nature walks for centering me and reminding me of the simplicity of life. I calm my thoughts and focus on breathing in and out. I make a pact with myself that I’m going to just breathe for 10 minutes and shut out the world. I open my eyes and get greeted with purple blooms and the smell of lavender. I spot orange and yellow wildflowers along the trail claiming their spot in the world and blooming where nature has planted them.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

My problems don’t seem as big after spending time taking in fresh air and colors of the outdoors. I’m able to jump off life’s merry-go-round of goals, deadlines and priorities. In the same breath a merry-go-round can remind me of childlike dreams and moments. A time where we thought anything and everything was possible. We grow up and start this race against time for “trophies” like the perfect spouse, largest house, and biggest paycheck. In our haste to scramble for the finish line we forget to ask ourselves if we’re happy. We start feeling inadequate when we haven’t measured up or hit the goals our peers have. We’ve entered the rat race and find coping mechanisms to endure a competition we will never win.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” — Theodore Roosevelt

I have a habit of looking back on life’s trials and recalling the pain I endured or hurdles I overcame. It’s good to pat ourselves on the back occasionally and acknowledge what we’ve experienced. We shouldn’t dwell there however. Reflect on the season passed and look forward to the one ahead. As I move out of my apartment and relocate back to my hometown, I choose to look ahead at the golden path of opportunities and new adventures ahead. I have a renewed zeal and focus to pursue activities that fulfill me and make an impact on others. I aim to feel energized by life more often.

I’m proud of my journey up to now and learned invaluable lessons. I’ve learned to not always focus on the big picture and all the tasks we have to accomplish. When we do that we can easily get overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear and inertia. When I break up my bigger goals and tasks into smaller milestones, I’m able to cope much better and celebrate the small victories. I run my own race and take more breaks in between my daily tasks and enjoy my surroundings. I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for nature and have integrated it more into my daily life.

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” — Bob Marley

Creating transcendent stories that share the importance of data narratives and how they impact our world. Twitter: @aldatavizguy

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