Often, when I’m stressed, I turn to chocolate, some people turn to sugar, others to caffeine or fatty foods… but science has proven what Feng Shui has been saying for centuries… the best way to alleviate stress is to turn to that which is around us: mother nature.
New and groundbreaking research from journalist Richard Louv in his latest book, The Nature Principle, proves that tapping into the restorative powers of the natural world can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds.
Research shows that walking through an arboretum will reduce stress, decrease ADD/ADHD in children and even boost performance on memory test… and further studies showed that just looking at a picture has a similar effect!
Stressed out? Need a break? Stare at the picture of a tree!!
Restore your Connection with Nature
We are living an increasingly tech-focused lifestyle. And like a sugar-craving, the rush we get from connecting to our smart-phones, computers, cable-ready video-playing monitors begins to wane… leading us to keep checking these devices hoping to get our next fix… The fix we need is nature!
Bring the Outdoors Indoors with these Feng Shui tips
- Fill your space with natural materials such as natural fiber fabrics, and genuine wood furnishings.
- Use natural flooring such as bamboo, cork or hard-wood.
- Dedicate one of your indoor plants to “natural selection” and drop a handful of birdseed and let it grow wild. (The first time I tried this experiment, I felt tempted to “mow” my plant but let it go to seed and got to enjoy the full life-cycle as nature intended.)
- Connect locally! Collect objects of nature from your local area whether they be river rocks, sea shells, a jar of sand, pine-cones or coconuts and place them around your space!
- Images of nature can be incorporated through artwork, and also through patterns and designs in your carpets, pillows and throw blankets.
- Open the windows! Even if it’s a bit chilly, a few minutes of fresh air is a key ingredient to life!
- Paint the walls! I have nothing against white walls, but a bit of color, especially natural earthy colors can soothe the soul.
- Consider a window box, especially a little herb garden and literally incorporate your home-grown into your body.
- Man’s best friend may also be man’s best way of bringing in the wild. If large pets are not your thing, fish or even self-contained frog tanks are excellent ways to reconnect with mother nature!
“Research has proven that watching a fish tank for 10 to 15 minutes everyday can be very beneficial, by lowering blood pressure substantially, reducing ADHD, as well as stress from work and everyday life.”
And if you have an outdoor area… consider leaving an area in your yard/garden to natural order. While the gardens at Versailles are admirable, there is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing nature runs its course.
And my favorite rule-breaking tip: Step off the Sidewalk! Yeah, I said it! Go ahead and walk through grass that “grows by the inch and dies by the foot!” There is no better way to ground your energy and restore your connection to the earth than standing, foot-flat, right on top of it!
The Feng Shui Five Elements
Ideally, in Feng Shui, our goal is create a harmonious relationship between ourselves and our home. To create this harmony, Feng Shui uses the Five Elements in proportion to the person’s situation and personality. You can find out more about Feng Shui Personalities in my article. And find out more on using the Five Elements here.
Give nature a chance! Today, even for just one minute, gaze intensely at the marvel of nature in a plant leaf, a flowing river, or crashing waves… and restore your inner strength, balance and infinite being-ness.
See you on the trails!