Nature is one the most powerful factors that influence human health. Wherever and however we choose to live, our lives are impacted by the degree of nature that we experience. It can have a profound effect on our sense of spirituality, our mental well-being, and our physiological wellness.
While naturalists, nature artists, and avid explorers steep themselves in nature, the average person these days, like me and perhaps you, cannot count on regular contact with nature.
Our lives are busy and complex. Work and family commitments often keep us indoors more than we’d like. Dense urban surroundings complicate access to natural spaces. Illness, injury, or low energy may challenge our ability to find and appreciate nature. For many, the natural world simply is not a priority.
I find that spending time in nature almost always helps me feel better. Going for a walk or working in the yard is my best antidote to stress.
When feeling uptight, anxious, or overwhelmed, time outside calms me, clears my head and heart. Then I return indoors feeling more centered, more resilient, and better able to focus. As well, I sleep more deeply. Especially when I get to do something physical, such as digging in a garden, walking across fields, hiking up hills to a ridge top, or riding my bike along a pathway through serene surroundings.
But even walking on a road or sidewalk can make a difference in my day.
There’s something about engaging with the elements of weather, such as wind, seasonal temperature fluctuations, dry days or wet ones, sunshine or moonshine, that both soothes and excites me.
The mere sight of a hawk flying overhead, a chipmunk darting into hiding, or a bird perching on a tree limb bring joy.
And there’s nothing quite like the feeling of standing under a full moon in a clear night sky. The moon’s overhead brilliance, its awesome energy grounds and infuses me with a feeling of strength and possibility. The moon is a potent force in our lives, whether we see it or not!
Because I’ve experienced nature as a powerful healer, and research supports me about its healing effects, I believe that every person can benefit from bringing at least some nature into her life. It’s not necessary to live in the middle of a wilderness. There are many ways to live more in sync with nature, even when home is in a high-rise apartment building.
I’d love to help you find ways to tap the benefits of nature, and other lifestyle factors, to enhance your health and sense of well-being.
Read more about how nature can impact your health.