Modern life isn’t very good for us for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest, though, is that modern life, by design, is engineered to keep most of us indoors most of the day.

That’s bad for a variety of reasons, but the two biggest are lack of sunlight, and lack of access to one of the most powerful stress relievers in existence.

While it’s true that we don’t rely on the sun in the same way that plants do, it’s also true that sunlight provides a raft of benefits to our bodies. It helps our bodies naturally produce vitamin-D and helps regulate our circadian rhythm, which facilitates better and more restful sleep, making us more alert and aware during our waking hours.

Given how stressful modern life is, we’re really hitting ourselves with a one-two punch by not unplugging for a few minutes a day and going outdoors, because studies have shown that a simple twenty-minute walk in the woods every day can reduce cortisol levels by as much as 50 percent. Since cortisol is the “stress hormone,” by not taking advantage of this simple option, we’re absolutely making an already bad situation worse.

What, then, is the secret?

What’s the best way to feel better if you’re trapped indoors all day, every day?

It’s simple. Just say no.

Find a way to carve out at least twenty minutes a day and get outside. Go sit in the sun. Go walk down a wooded trail, maybe right after lunch, or maybe on a break.

Doing so will relax and refresh you. It will help you de-stress, and when you return from your short “unplugged” break, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever else you’ve got facing you for the rest of the day. Try it and see for yourself. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!