At my son Max’s wedding to Sarah, as the mother of the groom, I found myself delivering a speech on nature’s power that unexpectedly resonated with the entire audience, particularly the younger generation. Reflecting on the impact, I realized the relevance of the message beyond the wedding celebration and wanted to share it with a wider audience, especially seniors in my Sixty and Me community.
Recalling a childhood memory with Max, I recounted a moment when, as a Grade 1 student, he asked me “Mommy where is normal?” I was distracted and answered, “I don’t know, you tell me.” After a minute or so he said, “I think it’s out in the middle of the lake somewhere.”
I’m sure if I asked him the same question today, he would likely say “normal” is anywhere in the world, preferably outdoors in nature, and always with Sarah.
During Max’s early years, he enjoyed lying on the ground, gazing into tree branches, and calling the dancing light “angels.” Fast forward to the wedding day, many of Max and Sarah’s friends told me how much my speech reminded them of their precious childhood memories at lakes, rivers, with trees, and in nature.
My speech really connected with the 20–30-year-olds – a demographic deeply immersed in careers and technology – and made them remember nature’s significance in their young lives.
This highlighted for me that not only do I need to share this outside mindset message with my generation, but it is just as important for the younger generations. So, following the wedding, on my podcast Your Outside Mindset, I shared personal insights gained from battling lupus, urging this younger generation to incorporate nature and green spaces into their daily lives.
In collaboration with Max and Sarah, currently residing in London, I compiled seven compelling reasons for spending 20 minutes daily outdoors:
Green spaces alleviate rumination, breaking the cycle of fearful thoughts and promoting better mental health.
Outdoor environments facilitate a light, easily shifting focus, restoring attention and cognitive function.
Nature’s patterns decrease stress by up to 60%, providing quick relief in your mind and body at the same time.
Studies show that regular exposure to green spaces can increase lifespan by 8-12%.
Green spaces contribute to faster recovery from stress, fostering resilience in facing life’s challenges.
Spending time outdoors helps balance and regulate emotions, promoting a sense of well-being.
Just five minutes in green space positively affects mood and self-esteem, and helps prevent/manage chronic illness.
Summarizing these benefits, I emphasized the profound impact of green spaces on physical health and well-being. These findings were shared in more detail in my book, Take Back Your Outside Mindset where I highlight the transformative power of embracing an “outside mindset.”
Personal experience taught me to turn the darkness of a lupus diagnosis into joy and light by immersing myself in green spaces. I encourage you and yours to step away from your screens to spend a few minutes in nature, and embrace the positive changes it brings.
So my message goes beyond a wedding speech, and I hope it serves as a reminder to all age groups about the essential role of nature in creating a healthier and more balanced life.
How often do you go out in nature? Have you noticed any effects on your mindset? Do you feel calmer, less worried/stressed? What other benefits do you think spending time in nature has had on your health and well-being?
Tags Healthy Aging