Nature is a natural healing tool often overlooked in a quest for health and happiness. It makes us healthier, happier, more creative, and smarter. By Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N. As featured in Sweat Equity Magazine
People now spend up to 25% less time enjoying nature than they did 20 years ago. People are spending more and more time indoors, at their desks, on the web, playing video games, and watching movies. The result is an increase in weight levels, physical pain, diseases, depression, brain problems, and anxiety issues. Now science is starting to prove what we've always known on a deeper level: nature is fuel for the soul, good for our health, and calming for our brains. Here are 7 reasons why nature will improve your existence:
1). Nature de-stresses. Just like the chaos of city living will increase stress and hostility, the calmness of nature will de-stress you. We are affected by our environments, so our environments affect us either positively or negatively. Knowing this, seek peaceful, inspiring environments as much as possible if you want your nervous system to be calm. Nature is so beautiful, diverse, and peaceful. Place yourself in its vibrational beauty as much as possible so that you can adopt its vibrations. 2) Nature improves brain function. Studies show that being in nature can improve memory, dementia, and ADHD symptoms. Nature helps your brain work in sync.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
3) Nature reminds us to be grateful for life. When we are in nature we are reminded how small we really are. We are reminded about the cycle of birth and death, whether we realize we are being reminded about it or not. We are reminded how beautiful our world is if we just take the time to slow down and take a look around, and breathe it all in. We are reminded that our existence is precious. 4) Nature reminds us that pure joy exists in the present moment. All it takes is the full awareness of a blooming flower, a singing bird, a hard working insect, a stunning sunrise, a breath taking sunset, the feel of a snowflake, the soft sand between your feet, a majestic tree, colourful leaves, fluffly clouds in a blue sky......whatever it is that you truly focus in nature with an open, curious heart, will immediately remind you of the loving magnitude of your life, and all life.
5) Nature is energizing. Fresh, clean air, sunshine, and the bright colours that are found in nature help to increase cellular energy and mental clarity. Anyone who has sat in a stuffy office with fluorescent lighting for an entire day, or travelled on a long flight with stale air, can attest to this. Going outside will immediately perk you up. Not to mention that the sunshine offers us free Vitamin D that the body requires to be balanced and energized.
6) Nature teaches us respect. Nature reminds that we are not so different from it. Like the planet, our bodies have rivers, streams, lakes, ocean, soil and air. These ecosystems make up our personal and planetary terrain. To respect our environment and planet is to respect our own internal environment. To love the planet is to love ourselves. Somehow along the way we have forgotten that our bodies are products of nature and are subject to the laws of Nature. 7) Spending Time in Nature Boosts Happiness. In May of 2013, more than 10,000 Canadians participated in the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. The challenge was as follows: spend 30 minutes in nature, every day, for 30 days. Here’s the impact that the challenge had on the participant’s health and well-being:
They reported significant increases in their sense of well-being.
They had more energy,
Feelings of stress and negativity were reduced.
They had less sleep disturbances.
They felt more productive on the job.
They felt happier.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein
The more we spend time in nature, the more we begin to realize that every action we take has an effect on our planet, which in turn affects us. The more time we spend in nature, we begin to have a deeper appreciation for the natural laws of life, which also means a deeper respect for the food we eat and our health. The interconnectedness between nature and health becomes very evident the more time you spend in it. We begin to realize understand that we are all one organism.
*Did you know??? Being in nature produces brain waves that are similar to those you experience while meditating.