Gimme Five…in the Green

Institute of Mental Health 5, Nov 06
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Life getting to you? Take a walk. It could literally save your life.

I’ve said this before, but now I have even more scientific proof that a few minutes outside can change your perspective.

According to a study reported on, just five minutes outside can dramatically improve your mental health. Jules Pretty and Jo Barten, co-authors of the study, found that whether gardening, walking or cycling can lift your mood in no time.

Another thing: how you start your day makes all the difference in the world (I recently told Health magazine this). So if you tend to leap out of bed in a panic, you may wish to consider a different alarm clock. I usually awaken with the sun (which can be problematic in the wintertime here in Germany ~ it typically gets light out around 8:30 in the morning and the kids, well, they have to catch the bus at 6:45). But there are sun simulating alarm clocks that slowly guide you to consciousness. If your alarm clock jangles your nerves before you’re even vertical, it might be worth a try.

Yoga is another great way to find mental balance. A few stretches and poses can help you find your inner warrior when the going gets tough.

And let’s not forget tree-hugging, my personal favorite. If you’ve got one near by, give it some love. You may find yourself a lot more grounded afterwards ~ in just five minutes.



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  1. Suzanne

    June 28, 2011 at 12:25 am

    I love this. We don’t spend enough time outdoors in American society. And, another added benefit to just a few minutes outside is boosting your Vitamin D production!

    1. powerofslow

      June 28, 2011 at 8:20 am

      Indeed! And as we know, shows us the way to green spaces every day! 🙂

  2. Willow

    July 18, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Lilo just emailed me that she read about your comments in her Health magazine today, and when I was at the Farmer’s Market, Mr. Darnell (your former biology teacher in high school) overheard me talking to someone about your book, and he interrupted saying, “Christine wrote THE POWER OF SLOW?” I have to read it. My son just bought it and raves about it.” Your time may be here now!

    1. powerofslow

      July 18, 2011 at 7:20 am

      That’s just so awesome! And soon it will be in Korea, too! 🙂 Slow movement forward!

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