“In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Brain fatigue” — wow, that’s a scary phrase, isn’t it? It’s an informal term that scientists use to describe the stress and overload we feel when we experience constant noise and overstimulation — especially those of us who live and work in urban areas.
Brain fatigue expresses itself in a host of ways that are decidedly not helpful to us as writers. The list includes being easily distracted, forgetful, and mentally scattered. Since the brain’s ability to stay calm and focused is already limited, it’s easy to see how it can be overwhelmed by the jarring demands of everyday life. OK, that’s the bad news.
The good news is that there’s a simple solution. In fact, it’s literally a walk in the park. The idea that strolling through a leafy space can boost concentration and reduce stress certainly isn’t new. Countless writers and artists have turned to nature, not just for inspiration, but for solace and sustenance.
But now, scientists are discovering just how powerful green spaces and peaceful places can be. They believe that natural settings foster “soft fascination” (Lovely term, isn’t it? So much better than brain fatigue!)
“Soft fascination” is simply a state of quiet contemplation in which our attention is undirected and free to drift, enabling the brain to rest and recharge. According to a recent study, natural environments engage us, but effortlessly. They hold our attention, but also free us for reflection and relaxation: a quiet symphony of green.
So, go green! Take a break and go for a walk in a green place or gaze at greenery outside your window, or even at a plant inside your office. All of these will be mentally restorative: they’ll improve your ability to focus, and
help soothe and destress you, so you can write on.