Stop (Texting) and Smell the Roses

In our ever-growing digital age, with technology taking up more and more of our time, it can be very easy to get trapped in the online world, which usually means spending less time in the physical one around us. As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop once in a while, you could miss it.” In other words, put down your smartphone and
look up!

More and more medical and mental health professionals are turning to nature, to help get
children and their families away from the screen and outside. Eco-therapy, also known as nature
therapy, green therapy, and earth-centered therapy, can have very positive mental and physical
effects on both the body and soul. Research has shown that as little as five minutes in a natural environment can help improve one’s mood, ease anxiety and depression, and increase motivation. In a 2010 Japanese study, researchers also found that environmental elements, such as the sound of running stream water, odor of wood, and the scenery of trees can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, along with lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and
pulse rate.

Tips for Disconnecting with Devices, and Reconnecting with Nature:
1. Find a nearby park and simply take a walk
2. Spend some time gardening, or just planting flowers in a pot on your balcony
3. Take your family on a hike and notice the unique shapes ands smells
4. Walk barefoot in your yard (kids love getting their feet dirty!)

Whatever you choose, remember to practice mindfulness and utilize your senses to fully take in what is around you. Notice the leaves that are forming on the trees, listen to the sounds of birds chirping, or feel the warmth of sunlight on your skin. Remember, the present is the only real moment we have, so slow down and stop to smell the roses. If you haven’t noticed, they will be here before you know it.

Here’s to your Well Being!

-Erminia Donatiello, LPC
Licensed Therapist