The Secret to Breaking Bad Habits
Could Be to Simply Go Outside!
Stressed? Having trouble focusing at work? Can’t lose those stubborn 10 pounds? Ecotherapy (nature-based remedies designed to treat mental and physical health) is becoming increasingly popular for all kinds of ailments, as well as the solution to breaking those annoying bad habits. According to a Success Magazine article, 4 Ways to Spend More Time Outside, April 26, 2016, ecotherapy includes activities like hiking an outdoor trail, or simply soaking up some rays on a park bench. Just getting outside!
DC Park Rx, a community health initiative in Washington, D.C., explored the effects of “park prescriptions” as a preventive measure to help treat everything from obesity to ADHD. Since its inception in 2013, the initiative has seen very promising results in patient health, happiness, and recovery time. Although ecotherapy isn’t a quick or comprehensive fix-all, who can argue against the case for more fresh air?
I Work Full Time! What Can I Do TO GET OUTSIDE?
You can do a lot more than you think! For example:
The Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols is a fascinating study of the emotional, behavioral, psychological and physical connections that keep humans so enchanted with water. Nichols examines seas and oceans, lakes and rivers, swimming pools and ponds, and even the contents of our bathtubs in a study that is both highly readable and rooted in real research. He believes that just spending time next to and staring at water will rejuvenate and revitalize you. And wouldn’t it by handy to have that respite at home? You can see more on his YouTube Channel.
Having a living ecosystem pond, stream, or waterfall right in your very own back yard can facilitate your ecotherapy. Here are some issues and “bad habits” that can be treated in the convenience of your home.
Meditate. This doesn’t have to be a structured activity or complicated process. Just sit and stare at the moving water, or the fish swimming lazily in the pond, or the butterflies, hummingbirds, or dragonflies that visit your yard, and let your mind wander. After some time spent in quiet thought, you might be amazed at what pops into your head that solves an issue that’s been plaguing you.
Give your eyes (and brain) a break -- and a bit of “exercise.” Your eyes get accustomed to looking at those screens we tend to stare at up close all day long. So, exercise them by staring into the distance and watching nature. A living ecosystem water feature will give your eyes plenty to look at, and your brain a chance to relax and decompress.
The best way to stop more spending is to appreciate what you have. And there’s no better way to appreciate what you already have than spending time in the lovely outdoor space that you’ve created. You’ve already spent that money, now put it to good use.
Neglecting Loved Ones
Spend time together talking. There’s no better way to reconnect with loved ones than hanging out by a pond. Conversations start themselves. Children are engaged in something other than video games and TV. Some people have even said that we’ve saved their marriage because they sit down at the end of the day with their spouse and a cocktail and TALK instead of staring at the boob-tube.
Occupy your mind and hands by feeding your pond fish, or maybe even doing a little gardening in and around your water feature. This encourages a bit of movement in your life, too.
Take a healthy snack outside and share it with your fish. Feeding your fish treats like lettuce, watermelon, oranges, etc., will not only keep your water cleaner, but encourage you to eat healthier, too.
Breathe fresh air. Inhale deeply and spend time in the moment appreciating what it’s like to NOT inhale anything else. And, again, occupy your brain and hands with other tasks. Start by just delaying the activity, and work your way up to skipping one a day, then two a day, etc.
Stimulate a different kind of conversation. Talk about the fish, the plants, the birds, the butterflies, the dragonflies, the frogs. No curse words necessary under THOSE circumstances.
Do something else with your hands instead of biting your nails, scratching, picking, etc. Feeding your fish, or gardening your water feature, will give you something to occupy your hands besides any nervous habits you’ve established.
Multitasking, Overpromising, and Taking on Too Much
Take time to chill. You deserve to be a humanBEING instead of a humanDOING once in awhile.
We all have the power within us to control ourselves, our habits, and our happiness. Sometimes, you just need a change of environment. If you need to upgrade your outdoor environment with a home improvement that will cost you minutes of maintenance a week, and reward you with hours upon hours of enjoyment, let us know!
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