By CVC’s Meagan Ruffini, Marketing and Communications Associate

You know the feeling: You’re working away and slowly losing focus. The afternoon crash is hitting hard and your creativity has hit a dead end. It’s time for a break. When your personal batteries run dry, the best way to recharge is to step into nature.

Just five short minutes in a forest improves your mood. Even simply looking at a tree boosts your serotonin levels. The happy feeling lasts for hours.

There are many health benefits when you connect with nature. But did you know studies show the profound benefits of “experiencing awe”? There’s not a perfect formula to evoke awe. Everyone experiences it differently. All you have to do is open your mind to the wonders of Mother Nature and you may be lucky enough to experience awe every day.

Maybe you’ve felt it looking at the twinkling stars in the night sky. Or seeing the sun set a brilliant orange reflecting on the water. Or watching a cloud drifting calmly through the bright blue sky. Or perhaps you’ve noticed the sun casting shapes and shadows across the forest floor. It doesn’t matter how big or small or how magnificent or seemingly insignificant something must be to elicit awe.

In the words of Vincent Van Gogh, “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” Even if it’s the same trail you’ve walked countless times, there’s always something new in nature to discover.

Psychologists say the emotion of awe plays a big role in our health, happiness and well-being. The feeling of awe makes us feel part of a bigger picture. It humbles us and creates a desire to connect with others. It inspires us to act.

No matter how busy life gets, be sure to stop and smell the roses. Whether you’re going for a spectacular hike or just a walk around your local trail- your body, mind and relationships will benefit.

Continue to be inspired by nature- it’s good for your health!

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