What does it mean to connect with nature?
Connecting with nature means using your five senses to relate with and be nurtured by nature. Many studies have shown whether it be in person or by viewing nature in the form of images, paintings or video, or simply by listening to nature or audio recordings, provides positive effects on the body and mind.
Why is connecting with nature important?
Being in nature, living near nature, or even viewing nature from home can have positive impacts on our overall health and well-being, including how we process our thoughts, feelings and interactions. Connecting to nature is not only important for our individual health but our health as a collective whole. Nature is our natural habitat; humans have been dependent on nature since the beginning of our time. Nature has been providing us with the natural resources needed for survival, such as water, food, medicine and materials for shelter. Unfortunately, with time, we have taken advantage of these resources to build cities and densely populated areas, ironically creating completely unnatural environments.
It is important to remember where we come from and to be aware of the idea that everything we buy comes from somewhere. This leaves an environmental footprint. Therefore, it is important to connect to nature for the well-being of the planet itself!
What happens when we reconnect nature?
When we reconnect with nature, we reconnect with the source from which all livings things come from. Plants, animals, the stars, the clouds, insects and humans are all the same; life is life. Being aware of this gives us a sense of unity which can lead to more conscious decisions we make in our daily routine. For instance, buying local means less travel time therefore, fewer fossil fuels in order to receive your product. Buying organic means fewer harmful chemicals were used, protecting the area in which it came from and protecting the digestives linings of our bodies.
Exposure to nature increases our sense of oneness with all. If we protect the Earth, it rewards us. Being in nature protects our bodies and minds by reducing emotions such as anger, fear, and stress, all the while increasing positive feelings such as relief, love and joy.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg on how nature can provide for us. Here are the Top 10 Greatest Health Rewards Through Reconnecting with Nature:
1. Reduces stress and anxiety: Nature’s beauty is calm and serene which transfers a sense of relaxation onto us, decreasing cortisol levels in the body. Bonus: This can lead to less bloating and less belly fat.
2. Clears the mind: Once we are relaxed, the numerous thoughts and chatter in the mind begin to slow down, offering more focus and clarity. This can lead to inspiration, motivation and creativity for personal hobbies and goals.
3. Stimulates the brain: Exposure to nature impacts the brain by activating specific reward circuits. These rewards include the release of dopamine in the brain which helps with productivity, a sense of purpose, and the energy to pursue our goals.
4. Eases muscle and joint pain: One of the most natural ways to decrease pain in the body is by “Grounding” or “Earthing”. When there is an imbalance of positive and negative ions in the body, we can experience inflammation, which can lead to chronic pain and chronic diseases. Earthing means walking barefoot on the ground or grass and the body connects with the negative ions in the ground to help you achieve balance and decrease inflammation.
5. Aids adrenal fatigue: Symptoms for adrenal fatigue include chronic fatigue, insomnia, irritability, difficulty breathing and decreased libido. The best remedy for adrenal fatigue is to go into nature, go for a walk, and get space! This can replenish the oxygen levels in the body, move stagnant energy and replenish adrenal levels.
6. Lowers blood pressure: Being in nature is proven to decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease. Nature speeds healing, it can help heart conditions and other ailments such as depression and autoimmune diseases. Once again, walking is a great method to use as it is one of the best low-impact, endurance-building exercises for the body.
7. Aids with sleep disorders: Being connected with nature means we could observe the natural cycles of day and night, watching the sun rise or the sun set. This can reset the circadian rhythm in our bodies, helping the body's melatonin levels which naturally rise in the evening, signaling our brain that it's time to sleep. For more on how to get a better night’s sleep, check out my articles on Insomnia here: Part 1 & Part 2.
8. Increases spirituality: We are spiritual at our core; our bodies are merely vessels for our souls. Souls are natural entities; therefore, it is no surprise that when we are in nature, we feel more connected to our “natural selves”. Many people living in big cities with busy schedules often face a moment in time where they feel like they lost touch with their inner child or their sense of inner peace. Surrounding ourselves in a natural habitat can combat these effects, reminding us of a world outside work, which gives us back a sense of purpose. Purpose connects to meaningful and satisfying work for when we return to our normal routines. Keeping that sense of awareness with us throughout our day or month takes practice but can result in living in harmony each year of our lives.
9. Helps us become more social: Once we get moving, get space and feel replenished, we are now more open to cultivate generosity and kindness. We are deeply social beings and communication is good for keeping our brains stimulated and engaged in conversation. Being in nature with family and friends is great way experience authentic connections. Knowing the truth behind our systematic lives means knowing we have the option to push pause!
10. Increases gratitude: Getting a chance to observe natural beauty will most definitely give you a sense of appreciation and respect for nature and all living things. Being aware that this world does not belong to humans, but to entire eco-systems and solar systems that came way before mankind can make us feel tiny and minute, which funny enough, results in gratitude in our every day lives. The same life in the universe is the same life within us. Recognizing that we are in fact the same, makes us feel one with nature. This sense of oneness is then carried throughout our lives.
If we experience any of these wonderful benefits that nature can provide for us, there is no question we will continue to crave more of it, and fittingly so. Nature provides holistic healing to many, if not all, of our ailments. It is important to remember that there is enough natural abundance for all of us just by using our 5 senses and without exploiting natural resources. It is simply through sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch that we can experience healing with nature.
For more information on natural ways of healing, check out my board called Energy Healing on Pinterest.
This article was brought to you today from this view:
Now if you’ll excuse me, I will take my own advice to disconnect from tech and reconnect with nature. I will answer all messages as soon as possible. For now, I leave you with this quote by John Muir: "And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”