The old adage “stop and smell the roses” stands as a metaphor for pausing to appreciate life, and while it might be something your mother once told you, there is science to the saying.
A recent study by researchers at the University of British Columbia found that spending time outside is directly linked to happiness, Science Daily reports. A study of 395 people asked participants to record how nature encountered in their daily life influenced their mood. The study found all people who noticed natural items – from house plants and trees to daises in a cracked footpath – had improved moods, suggesting that by simply noticing the things around us we can enhance our overall happiness.
There are plenty of ways to stop and smell the roses in everyday life. Improve your wellbeing by trying one of the five ideas below.
- Take in the view: finding somewhere with an extraordinary view reminds us how remarkable the world is. Being in the presence of a breathtaking natural sight will help you take a step back and appreciate what is right in front of you. Look up scenic spots in your local area and see what you can be amazed by.
- Practice being present: as our lives get busier, it’s easy to constantly think ahead and worry about what’s around the corner. Living in the now encourages clarity and peace, so even taking just ten minutes out of every day to sit quietly and think about the moment you are currently experiencing enhances mindfulness.
- Slow it down: often days can be so jam-packed it feels like you are rushing through everything, which increases stress levels and fatigue. Pause, take a deep breath and let yourself move more slowly. Slow your conversations, your driving, you walking and even your eating to restore wellness and enhance appreciation.
- Green space: as the UBC study found, being around greenery promotes calmness and positivity. Surround yourself with plants wherever possible, and use your spare time to get outdoors and go for a walk in a nearby park or reserve. Try eating your lunch outside, even if you work in the city. Just being in fresh air and sunshine will improve your mood.
- Family time: remember to enjoy the little things. It’s those everyday moments which can seem dull that we often look back on, so take them in and appreciate them for what they are. It could be walking your child to the school bus, having a cup of tea with your parents or putting up the Christmas tree with your siblings.