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Nature and your happiness

By Collett Smart - psychologist 1 min read
Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Being outside and in nature engages all of our senses. This is important because there is evidence that smell and touch are linked more closely to the emotional centres of the brain than vision or hearing. Depriving our bodies of these senses could actually have psychologically damaging effects. Here’s how you can balance your habits and get that much-needed daily dose of nature.


Go camping with your children. There are many places where you can pitch a tent overnight, not too far from home. Most children don’t care about the dirt or not being able to shower for one night. In fact, that’s part of why they love it so much!

Backyard sport

Play croquet, backyard cricket or jump on the trampoline in the garden.

Read outside

Take a book and read under a tree. You could have a special “outside reading” book that you only read when you are outdoors. It can even become an incentive to get outside for reading time.

Engage your sense of touch

Bury your feet in the beach sand (adults too!). Walk barefoot in the sea in winter and relish the icy feeling on your skin. Go to the park and do some leaf or bark rubbings.

Silent walk challenge

Find your closest nature reserve and do a 15-minute silent walk challenge. See who can name the most sensations they experienced during that time.

Picnic lunches

Take a picnic lunch to the park and notice the different insects and birds you see. If you work or live in the city, take a walk outside at lunch time and find a tree to sit under if you can and listen to the birds’ sounds.


Nature and Your Happiness

Collett Smart is a psychologist, qualified teacher, speaker and internationally published author. She lives with her husband and three children in Sydney. The heart of Collett’s work is to support parents. or