WIN-ning Wednesday: Nature Cuts Sensory Static

With the long weekend approaching, like most people, I am looking forward to being outdoors as much as possible and allowing time for my senses to take in the nature around me.  Trees, green grass, blue sky, sun on my skin, glistening water, laughing children, birds in flight, dogs on a walk… what ever comes my way.

I try to immerse myself in the nature around me as much as possible knowing that I am often inundated with advertising, white noise, artificial light, artificial indoor temperature control and other man made stimuli that are part of my modern day life.

I realize the irony as I write this on my laptop while using the internet and that you, the reader, need to use these same things to even read this blog!  However, I since choose to live in this modern day life, and I like certain things about it, I have to balance that with giving myself a break from it all as often as I can.

I came across this video.  Although it’s set in an urban center, this isn’t a far stretch from what we experience here in our less urban lives when we go to a big box store, a shopping mall, a tourist site, open the newspaper or a magazine, surf the internet, see street ads while driving, etc.  The video is long, but even just watching a few minutes of it illustrates how our sense are bombarded by stimuli, especially product advertising.  Gotta wonder what this does to our nervous systems and brains, since our senses send messages straight to these areas first.

In addition to what this is doing to the adult population, what kind of influence does it have on children, who have a more delicate and immature nervous system and brain?  Specifically, with regard to advertising, there is growing concern about how this is impacting children.

This article “Pediatrician Group Urges Ban On Junk Food Ads” speaks to the concern with ads that target children saying:

“Thirty years ago, the federal government ruled that young children are psychologically defenseless against advertising. Now, kids see 5,000 to 10,000 food ads per year, most of them for junk food and fast food,” Strasburger said.

A tough one to get away from between TV, video games, shopping malls and city centres that have a high volume of these types of ads.  On the most basic level, just think of the dialogue that goes on when parents are grocery shopping with their kids and turn down the cereal aisle.  I personally remember going cuckoo for Coco Puffs as a kid and I had never even eaten them!  My poor mom!

Modern day stimulus can create frazzled nerves and minds.  On the contrary, the stimuli we get through nature has been scientifically proven to be restorative and calming.

When ever I can, I’ll take a extra large serving of sun and fresh air with a side of blue sky… thanks!

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