Imagine a free magic potion existed that helped build health and wealth.
You would assume there would be a line out the door of people clamoring to acquire their mystical powers.
Such a product exists. It’s called nature.
The kicker is 50% of Americans decline the opportunity for it to work its wonders.
According to Michael Easter and his terrific read, The Comfort Crisis, more than half of all Americans don’t go outside for recreation despite its scientifically proven powers.
The concept of nature as the ultimate healer is nothing new.
The Egyptians, around 1550 BC, created pleasure gardens as a type of organic Xanax. The Persian ruler, Cyrus the Great, followed suit around 500 BC in his capital city, located in modern-day Iran. Cyrus created gardens in his crowded urban capital to Improve his citizens’ health and increase the sense of calm.
Modern-day Japan implemented a successful wellness program called shinrin-yoku, or Forest Bathing.
Japanese studies confirmed spending as little as 15 minutes in nature led to drops in blood pressure, heart rates, and numerous other stress markers. Spending two hours in the woods provides a remedy for the ultra-stressed. Significant declines in anxiety, depression, and hostility were recorded after an extended forest bath.
I can attest to this data. Spending time outside gardening does wonders for the mind and body. Recently, I’ve been focused on a native plant project. Deer consume plants without natural defenses. They often come from non-native sources like out-of-state and foreign countries. Instead of fighting nature, the best plan is always to work with it. I’ve ordered a couple of hundred native plants and have begun planting them this spring.
Below is a deer-resistant woodland mix of Ferns and Sedges recently added to the landscape.
Some may be asking- How can this help me with my finances?
It turns out nature creates a unique brand of present-moment awareness in people.
Forest bathing or gardening creates a mindfulness-like state that restores and builds the resources we need to think, create, process information, and execute tasks. It’s mindfulness without meditation.
It’s not going out on a limb to assume being able to think, process information, and execute tasks are excellent additions to an investor’s psyche.
Jason Zweig often states that only survivors get paid in the financial markets. Keeping a clear head during inevitable Bear Markets is where fortunes are made and lost.
While there is no guarantee, investors who practice forest bathing are better armed to combat the media’s assault on their senses. The ability to distinguish signals from noise and choose suitable sources for financial guidance is the portfolio equivalent of the nirvana of data processing.
Who would’ve thought trees and flowers are just as crucial to your portfolio as stocks and bonds?
How can you start your program of nature baths?
It turns out it’s pretty simple.
The University Of Michigan scientists found that three twenty-minute weekly nature walks generated measurable benefits. The caveat – leave technology at home. This practice is a phone-free zone.
Still not convinced?
I’ll leave you with this from a University of Michigan Study.
Think of that short walk outside as a high-return investment in yourself. Those 20 minutes in the park may cause you to pump out 20 widgets instead of the 18 you would have done had you tried to power through the day in burnout mode. And perhaps those widgets would be more creatively designed.
Replace widgets with wealth and reap the benefits nature provides all its citizens.
Source: The Comfort Crisis By Michael Easter