Monday, 8 April 2013

Reasons Why Nobody Needs To Take Drugs #342

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” 
John Lubbock

MY park. MINE!

Even on cold days, I love a walk through my local park. Actually, I prefer cold days, because then I have the place to myself. When it's warm, everyone flocks there and people look at me funny when I take my shoes off. (Walking barefoot on warm grass is my favourite thing.)

And now it seems I have validation in my "no matter what the problem, the answer is a walk in the woods" philosophy. (Which really does work by the way. I have gone for walks in a state of high stress, anxiety and anger, and come back feeling serene and calm.)

Researchers in Edinburgh took readings of brain waves from 12 volunteers as they walked through a classy historical district, a park, and finally a busy city centre with plenty of traffic. Not surprisingly, the results showed that walking through "green" areas of grass and trees help the brain to relax, lessening mental "fatigue". Walking in built-up, concreted and crowded areas caused frustration (no, duh) and what's called "directed attention". In the calmer areas, this turned into "involuntary attention"; you still look where you're going, but without the constant stimulation of not getting run over / not bumping into people etc, your brain is more free to reflect on stuff. (Which is why going for a walk in green pastures is the best cure for any kind of artistic block...)

There is certainly nothing like a walk in a forest for reminding you that we're all just talking apes sitting on a flying organic spaceship which is spinning through a universe with no beginning or end.

I leave you with words from Frank Lloyd Wright: 

“Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work.”

Time for a walk!

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