NHS staff often spend long hours working in stressful environments, but embracing nature may be a way for them to promote their emotional well-being and improve their mental health. Let’s take a look at two reasons why.
Connecting with nature improves mindfulness
Mindfulness is the act of engaging with the here and now. It means taking in what you see, what you hear, what you smell and what you feel in that very moment. Practising mindfulness is one way of promoting emotional well-being because it encourages you to clear your mind and focus only on the specific moment. Other problems become irrelevant at that moment in time. It’s a way to escape and bring yourself into your environment.
Nature is full of beauty. If you are able to go for a walk during your lunch break or at the weekend, focus on what you can see and smell. Look at the leaves on the trees, inhale the earth and the flowers and notice what is around you. Clear your mind and see the beauty that surrounds you, no matter where you are.
Nature helps generate positive emotions
Nature naturally generates positive emotions because of the feelings we get when we look at something aesthetically beautiful. Humans are drawn to nature because we are all naturally curious. When something natural looks beautiful, we instinctively question why a flower blooms the way it does, or why trees stay alive for thousands of years.
The questions we ask ourselves help us to appreciate the beauty of what we are looking at, which makes us feel happy, contented and a part of something else. If you are feeling angry, stressed, depressed, overwhelmed or anxious, spending time with nature can help eliminate these feelings and promote healthier emotions.
The current climate is a very challenging time for NHS staff and embracing nature can be a way for them to help their emotional well-being. If you work for the NHS, take a look at some of the special discounts and vouchers available here.