Feeling a Little Down? Consider the Beauty of NatureOne common happiness challenge is: How do you give yourself a boost when you’re feeling blue? Or when you’re past the point of feeling blue, and are feeling deeply unhappy?

One refuge is to consider the beauty of nature.

Nature is impersonal, awe-inspiring, elegant, eternal. It’s geometrically perfect.  It’s tiny and gigantic. You can travel far to be in a beautiful natural setting, or you can observe it in your backyard — or, in my case, in the trees lining New York City sidewalks, or in the clouds above skyscrapers.

A few nights ago, my eight-year-old daughter burst into my office. She was very excited to show me a video, Pendulum Waves, which shows extraordinary patterns created by the simple pendulum.

Watching the video, I was struck, for the millionth time, by the beauty of nature. I often remind myself of one of my favorite quotations, from Boethius,

“Contemplate the extent and stability of the heavens, and then at last cease to admire worthless things.”

Or I remind myself to “Consider the elephant“ — wonder why?

Because of this passage from Eugene Delacroix’s fascinating Journal:

The Natural History Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; extraordinary animals! Rubens rendered them marvelously. I had a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the place and the further I went the stronger it grew.

I felt my whole being rise above commonplaces and trivialities and the petty worries of my daily life. What an immense variety of animals and species of different shapes and functions!

Do you find that when you’re caught in the troubles of your own experience — whether those are grave problems,  or petty annoyances — that contemplating nature is helpful?

The extent and stability of the heavens! In a shell, in an elephant, in the clouds, in a rock formation, in the action of a pendulum.

 

Years ago, my brilliant friend Kim Malone Scott wrote a novel, Virtual Love, about love and life at Google, but I never got to read it, because she didn’t publish it. I was so happy to learn that at last she has published it, and I’ve ordered my copy of Virtual Love. You can read a rave discussion of it in a Wired article by Steven Levy, The Lost Google Novel that Takes a Better Look at Tech Culture than The Circle.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 Oct 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2013). Feeling a Little Down? Consider the Beauty of Nature. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/10/19/feeling-a-little-down-consider-the-beauty-of-nature/

 

Recent Comments
  • Chet Bush: Thank you Professor Betsy Hoza for your ‘much needed Study on the ‘impotence of...
  • Lucy: Hi Shawna – you really need to get away from your father. You also need to realise that nothing he says...
  • kazchaz: This is helpful, very much so and it would be great to hear from you again, with updates on your progress,...
  • sambo: I really need some help im so depressed and anxious I cant work or leave the house im on antidepressants and...
  • Concerned: My father was a narcissist. He basically ruined my mother’s life and she ended up dying young of...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12775
Join Us Now!