For weeks I have been feeling rather down about something that I had been dealing with, it was on my mind quite a bit and it was waking me up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t go back to sleep. After a few days of this, my husband, tired of seeing my grumpy face suggested that we go out for a walk in Stanley Park. It was raining pretty hard this day and my first inclination was to dig in, stay on the couch and continue to feel miserable while I tried to sort out the issues in my mind. I reluctantly got into my gear, put on my shoes and we headed out, I was in serious pout mode and I would have rather have been going for a root canal.
We walked in silence for the first few blocks, I just wanted to go back home but as my body warmed up I began to realize that it felt good to be outside even if I was getting soaked. We entered the park by Lost Lagoon, we wanted to see if there were any ducklings swimming around yet, still too early. We headed up Tatlow trail and the minute I stepped into the trees I felt my anxiety start to subside and my mood begin to lift, I took a few deep breaths, deep into my lungs and stood there totally mindfully soaking in the beauty of nature, I had a overwhelming feeling of well being at that moment, it was a reminder to me of the healing power of being outside. I returned from the 8 km walk tired but with a clear mind and I was happy that I had gone.
A few days later I saw the information for The David Suzuki 30×30 Challenge and decided that it was something I needed to put a honest effort into doing because I was reminded about what it could do for me. Studies have shown that getting out into nature can lower blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels, and boost immunity. ‘Green time’ has also been shown to reduce feelings of anger and depression, while increasing energy, creativity and even generosity. At the very least, I will get some exercise.
So, please come and join me in my quest for zen, 30 minutes a day, what have you got to loose?