Life is a jungle - frequently, a concrete one. Instead of trails through the trees, we have tunnels under the ground.
When I visit London on a regular basis, it is possible to travel from Cornwall, to our meeting venue, stepping outside for just 100 yards. Less than 5 minutes of exposure to nature - so no wonder, people who live and work in such an environment on a regular basis seek for ways to relieve the tension and stress of daily life.
Fortunately, along with many offices and workplaces trying to be more relaxing - brighter windows and plants bringing the outside in, by just paying attention to nature and it's offerings, we too can find peace and reduce stress in 5 easy ways ...
1. Sit quietly by a body of water - be it a fountain, canal, river or pond (even better - the sea!)
2. Surround yourself with plants - maybe walking through the park to work, finding a longer way, or even a spider plant trailing from your desk
3. Look at the sky - yes, it is always there, but how often do we appreciate the colours and shapes - autumn and early winter give us huge beauty in the sky - just look up instead of down at your phone
4. Observe the people next to you - people watching (not staring - that's just creepy) is a great past-time, takes our minds away from what ever it is we are thinking about. Guessing their story is great fun.
5. Focus on the outside world - when you are office bound, use the windows, the views, the vision to enjoy nature. There may not be water visible, or greenery, but hopefully the sky should be in view from your office.
For me, from enjoying a walk by the sea before heading to London, then choosing to walk through the city to the destination (through parks, along rivers - always in the open air), it sets me up for the day ahead - thousands are rushing, stressing, panicking, yet with a little bit of time, and a focus on nature and the surroundings, it is a joy to commute.
Stress can come at inconvenient moments when we are unable to devote much time and energy to mitigate it. Using mindfulness to observe the world around us, even if only for a minute or two, can have immediate positive effects. . It’s simple and free, so why not give it a try?