Live Stress-Free This New Year
If you make only one new years resolution, make it to de-stress your life.
Stress can lead to depression, insomnia, heart disease, obesity and more. If you are able to reduce your stress and anxiety it will help you in many other areas of your life.
Here are our 9 easy tips for making your nature based new years resolutions achievable for 2018.
1) Get Outside. In one study by MIND, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed, stressed, and anxious to more calm and balanced.
2) Watch a nature programme. Officers in a prison in Oregon report calmer behaviour in solitary confinement prisoners who exercise in a room where nature videos are playing, compared with those who exercise in a gym without videos.
3) Keep a nature diary. You don't have to fill this in every day, but whenever you have a chance to look outside or go for a walk write down what you see. What insects have you spotted? What birds? What does the sky look like? Are there any plants of flowers that you recognise?
You will build up a beautiful view of the seasons throughout your year, whilst practicing mindfulness.
4) Smell some pine. You can start with your real Christmas tree (!), or look out for pine or cypress essential oils. Scientists in Tokyo have discovered that the smell of forest pine or cypress, for instance lowers our blood pressure dramatically and increases anti-cancer molecules in our bloodstreams.
5) Get a plant - Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that just having a plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
6) Look at images of nature. Change your screensaver to a nature photo or frame a picture of the outdoors and keep it near your desk. Researchers in the Vrije University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that viewing green scenes were particularly effective in supporting relaxation and recovery after experiencing a stressful period.
7) Go down to the woods. A study in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, found that participants who walked in a forest had lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) afterwards than those who walked in a city.
Find your nearest woodland here
8) Listen to nature sounds. Researchers at Brighton Medical School have found that sounds from nature physically alter the connections in our brains, reducing our body’s natural fight-or-flight instinct.
9) Try Urban ReLeaf of course! Urban Releaf combines the most effective benefits from nature with mindfulness and relaxation techniques without you having to go outside. Relax under leaf shaped blankets and take in the sounds and smells of nature.
Find a class.
Why Urban ReLeaf?
In the UK, 80% people live in towns and cities, and 70% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, leading to a growing disconnect with the natural world.
More people now recognise brand logos, than plants!
Mental health is a large scale public health problem.
"43.4% of all adults in the UK think that they have had a mental health condition at some point in their life".
(Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Pub 2016, carried out every 7 years and offers some of the most reliable trends about mental health problems)
1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year,
and 1 in 6 people experience something like depression and anxiety every week. (MIND)
The sounds, smells and sight of nature
are scientifically proven to reduce stress and make you happier.
However the increasing urban population do not have easy access to nature and cite lack of time, fear of the unknown and unpredictable weather as barriers to visiting.
Psychological research done in 2014
shows that listening to nature sounds reduce the negative effects of depression by 20-25 %.
Looking at nature can also improve your wellbeing.
People who can see trees and grass from a window – or even just look at pictures of nature have been shown to recover quicker in hospitals, perform better in school and display less violence.
The smell of pine reduces anxiety
and research carried out in Japan shows that the smell of cypress trees lowers blood pressure.