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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Visick

The Gift of Green

Exploring our local areas and getting out into nature has become more important to us than ever over the past year, giving us a little bit of escapism and a real tonic for our mental and emotional health, as well as providing us with the obvious benefits of physical movement. But what is it about being in the great outdoors that really improves our sense of well-being? Is it the feeling of the sun on our faces, the wind in our hair, the sound of uplifting birdsong or leaves rustling in the breeze, the smell of blossoming trees and blooming flowers, the sense of space and freedom as we watch the clouds drift across the sky? Certainly all of these contribute to the calming effects of being in nature, helping to settle the nervous system, lower blood pressure and reduce the stress-related hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, but what about the healing benefits of the colour green?

Green is nature’s harmoniser, balancing our energy, soothing our soul and rejuvenating our minds with its connection to growth and renewal. Our eyes translate light into colours with the cone cells in the retina identifying colours and being most sensitive to wavelengths of light around 550 nanometers, which is just where green is located on the colour spectrum, making it easier for the retina to perceive. We also have an innate tendency to develop a relationship with nature as our ancestors would have garnered sophisticated knowledge of all the plants and wildlife in their environment, crucial for their survival.

This connection to nature and the colour green has been shown to lift our mood, ease stress and tension and increase our attention span and focus. How often have you felt more creative and energised after a walk in nature? Just a short break outside looking at the green shapes of nature can make a huge difference to your productivity levels and have a restorative effect on your mental well-being, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes healing, cellular regulation, improved digestion and restful sleep.

And, if you can’t get outside, bring the outdoors in! Research has shown that plants in our homes and offices can still have a healing effect on us, reducing mental fatigue and boosting productivity.

How are you going to get your fix of green today?

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