Taking The Time To Notice

Are you one of the many who walk through life, too busy to take a moment to stop and be one with nature? Taking the time to notice is good for your mental health.

Early yesterday morning, I stepped out on the front step, to take my son to a school work program. The air was brisk but warmer than the day before. I thought “Man, a warmer day, finally!”

As I sat my laptop bag down by my car so I could unlock the door, something made me pause. It was the unmistakable sound of birds singing – a sound that, in Nova Scotia, is a sure sign of spring. As I scanned the top of the nearby chestnut tree, trying to find the source of the bird’s beautiful song, I couldn’t help but notice the vibrant blue sky and the golden light of the sun, crawling ever higher, and with it, gradually waking up the day.

While I listened to the bird sing away, and sure enough sitting atop this young chestnut tree; I thought to myself, “Look at all this beauty I am surrounded by.”

The effects of nature on your mental health

As I fumbled to activate the camera app on my phone, I thought, “It will probably be gone by the time I get this thing to work.” Lucky for me, it remained still, and I was able to snap a picture of a cardinal sitting proudly on a thin but sturdy branch. After snapping a few more pics of the beautiful morning, I said to myself, “Put the phone away and breathe deep, just take it all in.”

Looking for a book to help you get back to nature?

Other great titles on the subject of nature therapy

Taking the time to notice
The Power of Mindfulness

Read How Are You Feeling In The Moment?

As it turns out, taking the time to notice yesterday’s majestic morning set the tone for the rest of the day. Did it cure my PTSD, sense of dread from the night before or my constantly troubled mind? Well, no, but what it did do is inoculate me against its power to overcome and consume me.

In short, this was me being mindful, purposefully taking a time out to insist on being present. Looking back on it today, I am grateful for this beautiful red bird’s song, for it reminded me of the need to stop, breathe and feel the beauty all around me.

So, when you get up tomorrow morning, take a moment to listen to the sounds of nature. I am willing to bet that taking it all in will help dampen down the fires in your mind… Lots to be grateful for.

If you are struggling, please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

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Jonathan Arenburg.
Jonathan Arenburg.

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental-health blogger, writer, and published author, appearing in the i’Mpossible’s Projects Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental Health Talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has written for the mental-health advocacy organization Sick Not Weak.

Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental-wellness journey while helping others along the way.

Educated as an addictions counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years to working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.

He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.

His book “The Road To Mental Wellness” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one’s life, right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.


Categories: inspiration, Mental Health, Nature, PTSD

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