Without any effort I am feeling more energised and I’m experiencing more positive emotions. Then I realise why. It’s spring, the days are getting longer and nature shows us that we are on a different trajectory, no longer hunkering down and keeping warm, instead we are on the path to growth and new life is all around us.
We are so connected to the seasons and this season, spring is one full of hope, expectation and promise.
Dual benefits of spring – Now
The positive benefits of spring effect us in two complimentary ways. Firstly we benefit from the increased light, we have more hours of daylight and that daylight is of a different quality, providing us with vitamin D supporting the health of our bones and also lifting our mood. We are also able to use our time differently now that it is getting lighter. We are able to go out for a walk in the evening, and if we are fortunate enough to have one, we can go into our garden to reconnect with nature. In fact I find one of the most satisfying and exhilarating things about spring is watching the daily changes that occur in nature. These can be plants that push their way out of the ground or the vibrant new leaves that start to unfurl on trees. We can take time to notice and savour these as part of our day. Maybe on the journey to work, maybe in a break, maybe as we stare out of a window. There are so many opportunities to do this and research has shown that being exposed to nature has many positive benefits including decreasing stress, improving our mood and increasing our levels of concentration.
Dual benefits of spring – Future
The second reason spring makes us feel good is the way it fills us with anticipation of what will happen over the coming months. Unconsciously, the warmth of the sun brings us reminders of the summer ahead; the increased opportunities for social connection, the long hours spent outside, maybe spent with friends or family, the additional ways that we can exercise and relax. This anticipation can lead to increased optimism which in turn positively impacts upon the way we interact with the world in the present moment, creating a virtuous circle.
We can notice the joys of spring without searching for them, they are all around us in the new light, sounds and smells. Think of the first few times you smell newly mown grass each year, it’s so evocative, so fresh and full of anticipation of what the warmer weather will bring. And these thoughts come unconsciously and only partly formed. However, what if we decided to search, to slow down and actively notice and savour these changes around us, then we’d have the potential to receive an even greater sense of connection with nature and with others.
This spring try it out and let me know how it made you feel.
About the author: To find out more about Bryony Shaw MAPP, please click here.