New research shows that if you are mentally fatigued and want to clear your head, a good bet is to get outside and take a walk in nature.
According to the evidence published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, natural, green spaces help decrease the fatigue our brain endures from distractions, which often cause forgetfulness and a flighty mind.
One of the biggest reasons behind this is that in an urban environment, pedestrians are forced to use directed mental attention to remain safe and aware of their surroundings at all times. If you’ve ever walked midday through a bustling city, you know it can be a challenge to cross the street without being taken down by a set of wheels. Visiting the park and soaking in the quiet, natural landscape allows you to turn down your directed mental attention, giving your brain some time to recharge and renew itself.
Some doctors around the world are actually prescribing “forest bathing”, which is essentially taking a walk in the woods, instead of prescription drugs.
According to Doctor Jenny Roe, who worked closely with the Scottish study, getting outside and enjoying a little green space during the workday is not “unproductive lollygagging.” She says “it is likely to have a restorative effect and help with attention fatigue and stress recovery.”
Next time your brain is feeling exhausted by the constant need for being alert and aware, consider a walk in the woods. If you’re feeling really ambitious, hold your next meeting in a park and bring a few colleagues along. You may come to realize your time is spent in a much more productive manner.
Image CC licensed by daz smith: Spring in a park