I’ve always had something inside me that pulls me to get ‘up high’ or rush to the sea. And I feel instantly calm when I do. It’s like a massage for my brain; anxiety seems to diminish or at least is put into perspective and it gives me a sense there’s something out there bigger than my worries. I take a deep breath, and usually tell myself it’s all going to be ok.

It turns out there’s a load of evidence that this is deep rooted in our bodies – dating back to scanning the horizon for threat. When we don’t see any threat, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, helping you feel calm and peaceful. 

Although we’re not actively looking for tigers anymore, our daily lives can stimulate fight or flight and threat responses, causing stress. So finding a place of perspective, a view of the horizon, is an easy way to tap into a helpful automatic response which supports your brain to feel good. 

If a view of nature isn’t possible, you can create this sense of calm and safety, by simply mindfully scanning your environment. Take a minute to slowly look at the view around you, naming what you can see, a door, a chair perhaps, and notice how your breathing slows down. You’re accessing the parasympathetic nervous system, by reassuring your brain and body that there is no threat, helping to calm your nervous system.

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