Countryside Holidays Are Good For The Soul
Our properties are both located out in the beautiful Chichester countryside. We’ve wide, sweeping views over the fields, and an absolute abundance of wildlife nestling in the gardens. On clear nights, visitors can gaze for millions of starry miles into the galaxy, unhindered by light pollution. It’s all very beautiful, and peaceful, and relaxing. But did you know that taking a holiday here could also be good for your health?
We are all aware that spending time in the beautiful countryside is ‘relaxing’ and enjoyable – but few of us are aware of just how good for us it really is. Science is discovering that time spent in the countryside is actually fantastic for our mental health, in a multitude of ways…
‘Green Spaces’ Retune The Brain
If you’re under pressure (who isn’t, these days?), you may feel as though your brain is being put through the wringer. Stress has a big impact on our thought patterns, our behaviour – even our physical health. People with chronic stress are vulnerable to all kinds of nasty conditions, including depression and cardiovascular disease. Worrying – but fear not! Research is increasingly showing that something as simple as being around ‘green spaces’ can give your brain the reboot and retune it needs. Researchers studying people who lived in urban areas discovered that, unlike the promotions and pay-rises which participants thought would make them ‘happy’, the factor which most reduced risk of developing anxiety or depression was access to green spaces.
Further research has shown that those who spend regular time in ‘green’ (i.e rural, ‘natural’ environments) benefit in multiple ways.
One landmark study demonstrated that children with ADHD and other attention or behavioural issues experienced fewer symptoms and enhanced quality of life when they spent a certain amount of time each week playing in natural environments. Other studies have shown that exposure to natural environments – or even simply to the colours green and blue (the prevailing colours in a natural landscape of sky, sea, and vegetation) – experience a lowering of blood pressure, a heightening of cognitive functions, and a general improvement of wellbeing. All in all, heading out the countryside will calm you right down, soothe your pressured brain, and generally sort you out on an intrinsic level.
Why do natural spaces have such a fundamental effect upon our state of mind? Well, some speculate that it may have something to do with the way in which we evolved.
The pace of life has been accelerating exponentially for the past few centuries, and the changes that acceleration has brought have been enormous. Some people argue that the pace of technological advance has outstripped the pace of evolution, and our brains are struggling to cope with a world they simply weren’t designed for. Urbanisation, sedentary careers, multi-screening, work deadlines, the digital revolution, shift-working, junk food – all of these things are relatively modern innovations, which the human brain – while adaptable – isn’t quite prepared to cope with.
Our stress response, as a basic example, is designed to be a short-term ramp-up of our physical capabilities, which should enable us to fight or run (‘fly’) our way out of trouble. Modern stressors, such as work deadlines and cyber-bullying, can’t be dealt with in such a physical way, so we end up experiencing stress for far longer than we should. This has serious effects upon our bodies and minds.
Putting ourselves back into the kind of environment our brains are designed to understand and cope with has a deep impact on the way in which our brains work. There’s an instant relaxation, an instant re-engagement with the world on a fundamental level. Combined with the general benefits of a holiday, and a break from the daily grind, taking a break in the country could be just the reboot a tired brain needs.
Primal Benefits With Modern Comfort
Here at Living Elements or Nature’s Elements or Palmer’s, you can enjoy all the primal benefits of being in the kind of environment your brain is designed for – without the drawbacks of heading back several hundred thousand years…
- You can take a stroll in the countryside or at the beach,
- enjoy the birdsong and the other wildlife on the doorstep,
- feast your eyes on that soul-feeding greenery – and
- head home to a warm bath,
- a comfy bed,
- a modern kitchen, and all the considerations you’d expect from a quality holiday home!
Who could ask for more? To book your green space retreat call Gayle on 07769 746113 or go to the booking page
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© Chichester Self Catering 2017
Article from Gemma Law
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