We all share the basic human need to connect with nature. Being outdoors awakens the senses and helps you connect to the present moment.

Our bodies have evolved to physically require time outdoors every day. Without it, we won’t get the daily vitamin D necessary for optimal health. We also sink into couch potato lifestyles and spend most of our lives on our sofas plugged into electronics. This is a slippery slope.

There’s a reason that the national statistics on obesity, heart disease, depression amongst others are prominent in our culture. Spending time outside will actually inspire you to make healthier choices. It will encourage outdoor activity and bring about social gatherings, time spent with family and friends. Bringing family and community together.

Ever notice when you’re inside you’re always dreaming of being outside? Yet you never do that the other way around.

Creating a space outside even if you’re limited to a balcony can draw you outdoors at least once a day and chances are you will want more each time.

Ask yourself a few questions about your outdoor space in its current condition.

  1. What is in your space
  2. How does it make you feel?
  3. What isn’t there?
  4. What do you want to do there?
  5. How can you improve the aesthetic or function?

I recommend a small garden to anyone with the space. Especially if you have young children that are eager to learn and dig in with you. Plant vegetables, flowers and anything that will enhance the space or that you can consume.

Keeping your space well cared for and tidy is essential for the overall effect. The ritual of caring for a garden helps you connect to the earth in the most pure form. This is also a common way to meditate. As for the physical benefits, gardening burns quite a few calories and allows you to use core muscles not ordinarily put to use.

Be sure to place any tools and utility items in a separate space. If you don’t have your dream greenroom or storage shed try using a teak box with a lid that can also be used as additional seating and place it off to the side.

If you have a large backyard create several vignettes for people to choose from. Hammocks are always a favorite. A fire pit, dining area, a garden bench, a meditative spot in the grass under a tree. Mix it up and make it a place where everyone can find a cozy spot to chill.

My last bit of advice is to add a water feature. The miracle sound of water and the shift of energy inside of us is magical. The energy of the sound is scientifically proven to break open our creative thinking and make us happier! We could always use a little more happy.