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'Space to Breathe' marks World Mental Health Day

We invited clients, agents and local businesses, including Mitsubishi Electric, Church Street Events and the University of East Anglia, to the one-day event. Here, our attendees enjoyed an exclusive programme focusing on physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The day featured a session by fitness instructor Frank Sinclair, who explored the role exercise plays in mental and physical wellbeing and discussed how certain exercises can help reduce (or negatively enhance) stress levels, while sharing tips on how to control this through exercise of various intensity levels and stimulation of the 'parasympathetic nervous system'.

Mindset coach Gill Harvey-Bush shared some useful tips and techniques to help manage stress and improve performance at work including deep breathing, taking control of your 'inner voice' and negating the 'what ifs?' Following the sessions, our attendees spent the afternoon outside exploring the forest, before winding down with a relaxing outdoor yoga session.

As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting the power of the outdoors, 'Space to Breathe' reinforces recent research conducted in partnership with Liverpool John Moore's University which explored the benefits of the natural outdoor environment. As part of the research study, a systematic review found that even brief exposure to the forest is advantageous to emotions, particularly chronic stress. Japanese concept 'Shrinrin-Yoku' (forest bathing), which relates to spending time in the forest amongst the trees, is often recommended as a stress-reducing technique, something which was a key influence in the development of Space to Breathe.

Dan Elliott, National Sales Manager at Center Parcs, said: "Our first 'Space to Breathe' event at Elveden Forest was a huge success. From the previous research we have carried out both internally and with Liverpool John Moore's University we are aware that office workers struggle to spend time outside during the working week, despite the numerous studies that highlight the incredible benefits of the natural outdoor environment.

"Not everybody has a forest on their doorstep, so 'Space to Breathe' allowed us to take the opportunity to share our unique environment with some of our clients and agencies, so they could experience the benefits of time spent in the great outdoors, while also providing them with practical tips and techniques to help ease stress in their day-to-day lives."

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