I read: “The Attention Restoration Theory: things that require us to concentrate, such as work, fatigue our minds over time. Things that capture our attention involuntarily, such as artwork or nature, let the brain relax and refresh leading to a better mental state and performance.”
Then I read: The University of Michigan’s psychology team documented that exposure to nature creates a better mood and improves short-term memory by up to 20 percent!
Hmm…I realize it has been two years since I gave up my daily summer walks around the pond near my home. Why, I ask? Going for a walk is certainly not as easy as turning on the TV, but it is probably more relaxing…according to the experts.
But as you all know—life happens. It’s easy to forget to stop and smell the roses amid everything life throws at you.
So, I step outdoors. Take a deep breath, which feels wonderful. I take a second step and then a third and before you know it I’m on the asphalt path around the pond. I take in the bountiful view of a Midwest autumn. It’s as if nature decides to give us an explosion of color every year before the greys and whites of winter set in.
I take a seat on a fallen log on the edge of the pond where Mr. Turtle used to live two years ago. He’s not there, and I’m surprised to feel a little sad. A soft breeze lifts my hair, and I hear the honk of a goose. Branches scratch together and drop red and gold leaves onto the path. I glance at the sky and see clouds scudding past against a pretty blue backdrop.
I think I’ll sit here until I get my full 20 percent improvement. Maybe more.
When is the last time you got a full twenty?
Annalisa Russo is a published author and master storyteller based in Chicago, IL. Currently writing with The Wild Rose Press, she has just released her fifth novel: Angel Boy. You can read more about it and the author at annalisarusso.com. Follow Annalisa Russo on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.