Feeling nature's benefits
"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."
- John Muir
Spending time in nature can be like hitting a reset button for ourselves. Especially for people living in heavily populated areas, simply strolling through a local park can feel like escaping into a whole new world filled with more peacefulness and less distractions. It's no wonder that there are so many benefits to being in nature, helping improve concentration/memory, reducing stress, strengthening the immune system and decreasing physical pain. They say laughter is the best medicine, but I put time spent in nature right up there when it comes to improving and maintaining our overall wellbeing.
One of my favorite parts of immersing myself in nature is how quiet it can get, basking solely in the tranquil sounds of nature. I get my fix at the local forest preserve. The silence can create opportunities for me to truly connect with myself and nature/Source, the way trees in a forest connect and communicate with each other. I liken it to hitting Ctrl+Alt+Del for ourselves. Sometimes, just a quick reset for our body, mind and/or Soul is what we need to get our life, priorities and attitude back on track. We can even participate in different forms of ecotherapy.
An appealing aspect of spending time in nature, besides the numerous benefits, is it requires very little effort. We simply have to commute to nature and show up. What we do while we are there is up to us. I like to mix it up. Running. Walking. Hiking. Stretching. Meditating. Exercising. Playing. Connecting with people and nature. Our options are as plentiful as the benefits. It's more appealing when the weather cooperates, but nature is always there for us, rain or shine. Also, a walk or run in the rain can be healing on multiple levels.
We can easily make the excuse that we don't have enough time to connect with nature. By looking at it from a self-care perspective, we should want to make time for it. We can choose to make time instead of making excuses as to why we don't have enough of it. I encourage everyone to spend more time in nature. My only recommendation is that you leave work and any other drama at home. Time in nature should be spent replenishing our energy, not draining it. This is how we reap the rewards and benefits nature has to offer.
Healthline: Ecotherapy and the Healing Power of Nature
Select Health: 10 Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You
Psychology Today: How Much Time in Nature Is Needed to See Benefits?