On the journey to happiness: Nature and Travel Photography

A feeling that’s hard to quantify and is unique to each individual is happiness. But how do you strive for that happiness? It is a journey as we continue to search for it throughout the whole of our lives not only for emotional health but also for physical health. There are many approaches on the journey of happiness.

The Japanese people are recognized as some of longest living and happiest in the world. You might be interested to know that within their culture happiness is considered to be a way of life described as ikigai.

Ikigai is a word that means your reason for being. It’s a Japanese way of life and is the thing in our life that gives it that delicious richness – meaning, or raison d’être. 

Finding your ikigai helps you also find your balance, encouraging you to be more mindful and within the act of doing simple things reminds you to stop putting pressure on our hectic daily lives and appreciate the small things. 

There are ‘Shinrinyoku’ is the practice of healing through being immersed in nature, or ‘forest bathing’. There have been countless scientific studies that have proven the value of being surrounded by nature, and trees, and the practice is considered to have therapeutic value. “Feeling the sun on your face, or the wind in your hair, even if only for a little bit, can be so refreshing. This is feeling that you are chasing through shinrinyoku – being healed by nature, and it works wonders.

Interestingly, your brain has the same reaction to looking at nature as it does to actually being in nature. Study after study show that nature lowers our stress levels and helps us feel happier. Why do you think we try to take so many activities that could be enjoyed indoors and move them outdoors? Indeed, people who live in cities and urban areas are 17% more likely to suffer psychological distress of some kind -- anxiety, depression, the usual.

There’s a reason why nature-based therapy is a real thing. Studies find that those who live in close proximity to nature have higher life satisfaction and a more positive outlook on life. Simply observing nature can improve productivity, concentration, and even limit the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. Nature and travel scenes nourish our brains in ways that the city can’t; real or photograph simply doesn’t matter -- our brains respond to these stimuli in the same rejuvenating way.

The point is, your brain thrives when it gets a regular dose of nature. And when you can’t get out into nature as much as you might like, you might as well do the next best thing and surround yourself with it inside. Filling your home with nature and travel photography will remind your brain of all the things it finds calming, rejuvenating, and healing about the outside world and trigger the same mental boost you might get from a tree-lined jog through the park -- your attitude, your focus, and even your overall mental health will dramatically improve.

More than anything, my goal is to show you views of our world in ways you’ve never seen them before. After all, displaying nature or travel photography in your home gives you the opportunity to make believe you live anywhere in the world.