Look Up!

New Year’s resolutions should be simple and easy to keep; that’s one of the better pieces of advice on the subject that I’ve seen.  So here’s a simple one,

Every time you step outside of a door, look up.  That’s it.  Just see the sky.  Not to check the weather, but to open yourself up – body and mind.

Tilting your head back, just for a few seconds, usually gets you to take a deeper breath, which is always good, and it gives you a moment of stillness in between inside and outside.

The sky reminds us that the world is bigger than we are, and our problems are smaller than we think.  The sky may be the last view of “nature” that some city dwellers can get – it is always open.  A bird flying across the sky is a potent symbol of freedom.

To look upward for a few seconds is so simple that it hardly qualifies as a “discipline” but when it becomes a habit, it can have a big effect.  Looking up can calm racing thoughts or raise a sinking heart.  Looking up can remind us to slow down, or to take courage, or to get a wider perspective.

If you don’t go outside much, try to make occasions to get outside of a building and under the sky.  Outside light, even on a cloudy day, is much stronger than inside light, and light exposure can be an important tool for managing depression, anxiety, insomnia and other problems.  Whatever climate zone you are in, outside exposure and outside light can “lighten” your day.

So remember this step for a small action with a big payoff:  look up!

– Nancy