Scientific evidence has shown that being surrounded by nature can benefit our health and happiness. It can improve our mental health, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and benefit cardiovascular ailments, too.
The creative mind can also benefit from nature’s inspirations. In the age of social media, when people seem to be glued to their Smartphones, it’s good to leave technology at home – or at least in our pocket – and take a walk in the countryside, surrounded by sights and sounds which can inspire us.
I find nature walks a good way for the mind to relax, and thus letting the imagination take in what we see and hear on our travels. I often compare the imagination to a big jar of ideas, which over time needs replenished as we interact with others in our daily lives. And what better way to refill that jar than being surrounded by nature.
My particular favourite kind of walk is by the seaside. I find the sea has a calming, almost hypnotic effect on me. Living by the River Tay as I do, constantly surrounded by water, I find seaside walks can still my thoughts and relax my body.
Whether watching the waves crash on to the shore, picking up a piece of driftwood or colourful shell, my thoughts will flit here and there, but in an unhurried and musing manner. And slowly, ever so slowly, that big jar of ideas will start to fill again.
If you don’t have access to the seaside or countryside, there are other ways to reach out for inspiration. A blackbird singing in a tree, dandelion seeds blowing in the wind or the sound of the rain against a windowpane, all can be ascribed to the wonders of nature, and all can help inspire us in our lives.