Most people have a favourite environment where they like to be, a place which makes them feel energised. For many this is a natural environment but some thrive on the vibrancy of a city environment or like the atmosphere of a country town. Some people live in their favourite environment, or close by and others only get to spend time in their favourite environment on weekends or holidays.
Many people love the beach. The negative ions in the air energise you and have been found to reduce stress and depression in some people. (Usually anything that is ‘negative’ is not a good thing but that is not the case with negative ions.) Negative ions are generated by moving water so there is a greater concentration when the waves are crashing onto the beach. That is probably why time at the beach when the weather is stormy can make one feel really alive.
Sea water contains minerals including magnesium and iodine. Magnesium calms the nerves. Iodine helps fight infections and so any little cuts or athletes foot will benefit from sea water. Swimming can reduce stress and depression especially when combined with a dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Don’t overdo the exposure to the sun.
Walking on the sand barefoot is good for your feet and you get a free exfoliation treatment. The direct contact with the sand (or earth) boosts your immune system. It is relaxing to watch the waves rolling in and listening to the sound is good for the soul. I love the beach and have written many poems about the beach but there is somewhere I love even more.
My favourite place is the river environment. My love of rivers may be the result of childhood experiences. Sometimes I walked along the banks of the river with my cousin when she went to fetch Grandma's cows for milking. As a youngster I spent time at the river with my friends and sometimes just with my dog for company.
When I was a teenager I headed to the river when I needed to think and work things out. I am a few minutes walk from a river now and often walk there and listen to the frogs croaking and the kookaburras laughing. I love watching the water flowing and tumbling over the rocks when there has been plenty of rain. I like the sight of the tall gums and the lush grass on the river banks in wet weather.
There are those who love mountains. Some love vacationing where there are snow covered mountains so they can go skiing. For others, the attraction is the silence, except for the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, found in many mountain areas. Mountains can provide awe inspiring scenery and panoramic views. Some of the landforms found in mountainous areas are amazing. I love the Flinders Ranges.
Some people love the desert. Compared to other environments, deserts have suffered less from human activity and ‘new’ species of fauna are still being discovered. The desert is a relatively unspoilt environment so one can feel especially close to nature.
Deserts provide plenty of wide open spaces. I find all that space inspiring. The desert can be very calming. Some find the desert a soothing place to meditate or somewhere toi go to 'find themselves'. Those who appreciate the desert marvel at the view of the stars afforded by clear night skies The desert can be amazing in the way it comes alive with wildflowers after heavy rains.
There are people who are most comfortable living in a country town or visiting there when they are able. They like knowing the locals and enjoy a slower pace of life than a city would provide. For them it may be the best of two worlds, close to nature but near to people for social contact..
Some people are more at home in a city environment. They love the hustle and bustle, the vibrancy and the energy of all the people. They love going to cafes, the smell of coffee and all the shops. Artistic souls may be inspired by close proximity to like minded people.
Some people love the easy access to a variety of formal education opportunities and the clubs which cater for all sorts of interests. Although I love natural environments I get a buzz from a city environment. The variety of activities that are easily accessible and the contact with different cultures inspire me. For city lovers it may be important to have plenty of entertainment available and they would be bored without all the stimulation.
As with everything else, we are all individuals and will have different ideas about the ‘best’ environment. The important thing is finding what environment is best for you and spending time there as often as you can.
Although my article was about different environments that people like and I mentioned that my favourite environment is the river, the happiest times in my life were in a hospital setting. When I gave birth(twice) the happiness I experienced (along with a mixture of other emotions-love, amazement etc) was the strongest in my life. That is when I was the happiest. I am fortunate to have had many many times in my life when I have been very happy.