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Quinta do Lago - 5 Ways to Wellness with Nature


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Portuguese neurologist, writer and keen gardener, Doctor Nuno Lobo Antunes, explains five ways spending time in nature has the power to transform your own and your family’s wellbeing.

The first, and perhaps most important, thing to consider when designing your wellness garden is how it can connect with the senses. “Our modern lives are full of connection but most of this is now through screens. This constant stimulation causes our nervous systems to be on alert all the time,” Dr Antunes says.
“A garden gives us the opportunity to have a sensory experience that invites relaxation into the body and the mind,” he adds. By creating a garden that has is beautiful to look at, with flowers and trees to smell and different textures like soft grasses to touch, you can begin to enjoy your garden in a more holistic and intentional way.

Q Landscape Wellness Garden Tip
Create a sensory experience and attract bees and butterflies to your garden with an abundance of flowers and plants of different colours, scents and patterns.

Be it a vegetable patch, butterfly garden or a sustainability project, getting hands-on and active in the garden is good for your health. “Creating and sustaining life in the garden is a wonderful way to support your mental health and is proven to be a very beneficial form of therapy for stress and anxiety,” Dr Antunes explains. 
“It comes from a deep place within us as human beings, to be using our bodies in a useful way, to witness the resilience of nature and to find comfort in remembering our innate connection to the earth,” he says. Research like the King’s Fund, show the health benefits of gardening include reductions in depression and improved social functioning. So, when working with your landscape architect, why not request a veggie patch or planter corner, and you too can reap the benefits of garden therapy.


Forging a relationship with your garden brings with it the opportunity to make enjoying time outside part of your everyday routine – and, with practice, this have a positive impact on your outlook. “The brain has a reward system that responds to pleasure and enjoyment, so by having a regular practice of slowing down and reconnecting with nature, a healthy habit forms,” says Dr. Antunes. 
“Connection with nature provides a way to detach from obsessive thoughts and worry, making it easier to experience the benefits of practices like meditation and mindfulness as you notice the feeling of having contact with beauty,” he says. Meditating outside has proven health and mood-enhancing benefits, and with all the fresh air and Vitamin D you’ll soak up, you’ll boost your immunity too.

Q Landscape Wellness Garden Tip
Why not include a mindfulness corner in your garden design? A serene seating area or natural yoga deck is the perfect setting for relaxation.


A welcoming outdoor space is something the whole family can enjoy, and, as Dr. Antunes explains, has the potential to powerfully support a child’s wellbeing. “In my work in children’s development and neurology I have seen children greatly benefit from frequent contact with nature and relating to wildlife and animals,” he says.
One reason for this could be the way in which time outside not only reconnects us with ourselves, but also with those around us. “Nature keeps things simple; it brings us together in a way that is very ancestral for humans. It’s deeply nourishing,” Dr Antunes says. An extension of the family home, the garden is the natural the backdrop for treasured family moments.


The simplest way to enjoy your garden is, of course, to observe its innate beauty. Surrounding yourself with natural beauty can improve our mood and lead to lasting contentment. “As humans, we appreciate beauty on a very deep level,” Dr Antunes says. “Noticing the resilience, seasons and diversity of nature reminds us of these qualities within ourselves and can support us toward greater self-compassion,” he says. 
Enjoying an outdoor space, filled with your favourite flowers and plants, is also proven to inspire creativity and problem-solving skills, so you may even notice it helping you with work and daily life too. What’s more, with the Algarve’s stunning weather and landscapes, the beauty of your garden is limitless.

Transform your outdoor space into a personal sanctuary with Q Landscape. Contact our specialists today.