The best prescription is often right outside
Nowadays everything has a brand and marketing campaign. What about nature?
~ Justin Bogardus, writer/director of Nature Rx
What is at the root of all life’s ills? As a filmmaker, I was inspired to explore this question that is at the heart of our life/health/well-being struggles. What I found is that for many of us, we feel a profound sense of disconnection from ourselves and the world around us. We all understand on an intuitive level that getting outside in nature is good for us (and now there’s been an explosion of scientific research to support that position). What we are learning is that beyond nature’s purely curative effects is a sense of mindfulness – a sense of being present – that we experience that makes us more connected to our true selves and the world at large. The more connected we feel, the better we feel.
Going outside is one of the best ways I’ve found to expand my field of awareness and perspective. A simple act of wandering in the woods may not seem at first glance like a vital activity, but the benefits to our physical and mental wellbeing are immense. As my satirical commercial Nature Rx declares:
“Side effects of nature may cause you to slow down, be in a good mood for no apparent reason, and reduce anal-retentiveness.
It may even lead to spontaneous euphoria (for euphoria lasting more than 4 hours you can check your work email or consult your doctor).”
Many of us consciously and unconsciously look to commercials for solutions to what ails us in our lives. By portraying nature as a medication in a spoof of a prescription drug commercial, Nature Rx humorously conveys what we forget so easily: our healing and enriching need to connect to ourselves and the natural world around us. We all know laughter and getting outside are two timeless prescriptions for whatever ails us – especially now when statistics reveal that chickens and prisoners spend more time outdoors than the average American child.
I think we are just scratching the surface of using satire to sell an important message. I’m very excited about our next project, Nature Rx Kids – a series of fun, cheeky short videos in an ad campaign to highlight the disconnection and health concerns for children and families today. In a time when kids on average spend 7.5 hours a day in front of screens, there’s a great need to bring some prescription doses of laughter and encouragement to this disturbing childhood development issue.
Humans need nature; we are in fact an integral part of it – incontrovertibly intertwined. In ways we are only beginning to fully grasp, being outside grounds us, balances us and cures us. We have an obligation to both appreciate and protect nature – so go ahead and ask your doctor if being outdoors is right for you. Or better yet…head on out and check it out for yourself. Take a walk on the wild side.