The sun turned my head While my eyes were cast down Picking my feet over steep, muddy ground. The bland, bleached bark Of the thin beech trees Illuminated by the golden beams.
I read a report this week in the Journal of Positive Psychology. Researchers at the University of Regina, Canada showed that spending just 5 minutes in nature was of benefit to human health, particularly emotional well being. Its official, being outside makes you happy, and you only need 5 mins for the effect to work. Apparently, contemplating a natural scene will have a similar impact.
So I would like to share with you my 5 minutes, and I will tell you where to go if you are inclined to a bit of an adventure. Firstly, I will be honest, because my time outside was longer than 5 mins. The research does have evidence that the duration of time spent in nature does not magnify the effect, so I did not come back bursting with uncontainable happiness. I had my 5-minute hit, and that was it. But oh my goodness, what a hit!
On Saturday morning, Chris and I took a walk along the Stadtwanderweg 4a. We cheated a little. The route starts at Ottakring, Vienna and involves walking through the suburbs of the city to reach the Vienna Woods. However, I find the suburbs a bit boring, so when we walked out of the station at Ottakring, we hopped on the 46A bus and got off at the edge of the woods. It will take 10 mins. The 46B bus will do the same. The two buses run the same circular route in opposite directions, which is very handy if you’ve had enough and want to ride back to the city train station.
The ground at the highest point of the walk was still covered in snow, some of it very icy, and some of it very muddy. So coming down the hill, I picked my way carefully, listening to the distant drilling of woodpeckers. It was at that moment, I became aware of the sunlight and the effect it had on the trees. Breathtaking. I lifted my head and soaked in all in! Beautiful. My 5-minute tank was full. Here are some images to fill yours!
If you would like a little more check out this video