Hey folks, this week’s 2-Minute Tip is the most natural way possible that you could focus on health and happiness. And by natural, I mean the real deal–time outdoors and in nature. A growing body of research supports the fact that all those adults who told us when we were young to “go outside and play a while,” were actually on to something. Being outside for two hours each week is scientifically proven to decrease depression, anxiety, and stress. It has a positive impact on high blood pressure, reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes, and, in people diagnosed with cancer, it naturally increases the killer cells in the body that attack cancer cells, so time in nature has a ton of positive benefits. We want to keep those benefits in mind because being outdoors is natural, it’s free, and it’s actually pretty darned pleasant.

We spend so much of our time indoors, under artificial lights, in front of screens that have random images and loud noises a lot of the time, and we’re breathing re-circulated air. All of those things can impact our health and wellness in negative ways. If we didn’t know that these things were work and entertainment and recreation, we would actually associate a lot of those things with torture.

So yeah, maybe we could step back and do a little something different. My challenge to you this week is to find some time to spend out in nature. It doesn’t have to be, as the Asian cultures call it, Shinrin Yoku, otherwise known as “Forest Bathing.” It doesn’t have to be in the forest at all, although, by all means, go for it (if that’s your gig). It can be on a hiking trail, in an urban park, going for a walk with your kids, taking your lunch outside, spending time on your own patio. The options are endless. It only takes a few minutes at a time…better yet, 2 minutes at a time.

Spending time in nature will have these profound positive impacts (and more), and there’s no effort involved just get outside in the fresh air and allow that mindfulness and quality of life to permeate every cell of your being.

So, this week, that’s your charge. Go outside and play a while, two minutes at a time, focusing on what matters most and what works best to live a life, you love. Have fun with it!

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