Seek out some Free Time (in Nature) to connect to a Deeper Sense of Happiness

Ever since I read about the futility in the "pursuit" of happiness, my expectations for happiness have grounded towards choosing a more mindful presence and using daily gratitude, rather than chasing after things or experiences that I think might provide me with a happier life.

The idea is to BE happy, rather than SEEK happiness.

Realizing what we already have can make us more grateful and lead to more satisfaction with our present experience and this can be extended to the greenery and green space around us.  Appreciating the trees on our block, the garden of flowers down the street and/or our familiar neighbourhood park can help us feel rich in a green of a different sort.

My friend sent me an article last year about another way to add more happiness to our lives.  This technique SHOULD be easy, but with our lives full of technology and our overly organized and programmed days, it actually isn't so simple.  Here is what the article said:

Some may be thinking, that's easy, I can just schedule less!  No problem!  Some may even be thinking - I already do that - I have no schedule at night and just hang out at home.  Easy, peasy.  But I think part of the magic formula here is to still DO fun stuff but have less planning around it.  This is definitely a challenge for me as I'm lost without my "to do lists" and my friends know that I'm prone to scheduling in visits weeks in advance rather than doing things spontaneously.  (It might be the introvert in me!) But I did grow up in the generation of children who were left to their own devices after school and during summer, so maybe there is still some unrestrained zeal somewhere deep down.  Here's hoping!

To help along this desire to play and enjoy free-time, I've come up with some ideas to kick start this for the warm months ahead.

Five Fun Ways to Schedule Less But Enjoy More Nature:
  • Meander, stroll and explore - seek out green in your neighbourhood or others!
  • Block out time for impromptu outdoor plans and do something spontaneous - whatever seems fun at the time.
  • Next time you hear some cheering or music from a park - go and investigate.
  • Scroll through your contact list and see who is available (or better yet drop by!) and see if the want to do something outdoors.
  • Add a reminder on your phone once a week (at lunch or after work) and when it pops up - SAY YES (remember the 5 second rule) to getting outside wherever you are.

Remember the other tips from the article - create "rough scheduling" rather than strict scheduling and enjoy the quality of the experience, rather than a quantity of them.

Let us know if you think scheduling your days more freely would make you more happy and please share any tips on how you enjoy impromptu nature outings yourself!

Happy urban wilding!

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