In our busy life where everyone is on the go, it is often easy to get wrapped up in our own world and not take the time to think about, what nature provides to each of us. Indeed, there is a true healing power of nature. But nature is more than just a temporary lift when we are down. In uncovering potential clues on the origin of life, researchers have discovered that a compound known as pyrophosphate may have played an important role in providing energy to early life. After all, we all need a continual supply of energy to survive. It doesn’t matter what year it is.
The Healing Power of Nature
There is something about being in nature that heals us. When someone wants to unwind or go into deep thought, they generally don’t go into the middle of a busy city or a crowded establishment. They get away. They start driving, or maybe walking, until there are no more street lights. Just stars to light the sky.
But while we might just think it as a fun thing to do, there is more to it. There is science that shows the correlation between being in nature and a decrease in stress. And many other benefits. The world around us, our normal day-to-day, has a tendency to cause negative emotions. We are stressed. We are anxious and worried. Maybe we are sad or left out. This might be from work, school, friends or family. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that these reactions will cause your blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension to increase while suppressing your immune system. That changes when your environment changes.
What are Nature’s Health Benefits?
1. Your Stress Level is Reduced
Who couldn’t use less stress in their life? Nature has a calming affect on people. David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah, has studied this issue and concluded, “Our brains aren’t tireless three-pound machines; they’re easily fatigued. When we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too.” Nature truly does heal. An interesting side fact that is that something as simple as a plant in a room can decrease your stress and anxiety.
2. Your Physical Health Improves
While going for a walk or exercising outdoors is one of the more obvious ways to improve your physical health, get in shape and lose weight, there are other healing benefits. Even going outside to plant a garden or sit by a river has been shown to be beneficial. In fact, being outside can reduce your stress, blood pressure and heart rate. One researcher said, “Our findings suggest that connection to nature may provide people with resilience to meet the challenges of everyday life, while also facilitating exercise, social contact and a sense of purpose.” If you want to improve your health, look outside.
3. You are Grounded
Nature will bring a balance to your life. You will be able to focus on the now, and what is important in your life. When it is quiet, and you are outside, you will be able to take the time to ground yourself, de-clutter your life and enjoy your surroundings. A great way to achieve the goal of being balanced, is by meditating.
4. You are Happier
There is nothing like a bright, sunny morning to bring a smile to your face and to start your day on a positive note. It’s not just a coincidence. Sunlight provides vitamin D, which, among other things, has been shown to boost your mood. This might seem difficult in the dead of winter but do what you can to enjoy sunlight. It will make you happier. It will make you kinder.
5. Your Mind will be Open
When you are outside and being intentional, you will have a great opportunity to clear your mind and focus on the important. If you lead a business, going out into nature to think and strategize, rather than doing it at your desk, will provide tremendous benefits. You will be more productive and really be able to focus on what matters.
6. You are Restored
Nature has the healing power to restore you. As you explore the beauty that is nature, you will notice a difference in your general well-being. You will feel a soothing and a positivity that you haven’t previously experienced in a long time.
How We Can Connect with Nature
So we’ve read about the benefits of nature that go back to the beginning of time. You want to live a better life. Just like everyone else, you want less stress in your life and you want to be restored. But what can you do now? It’s pretty simple.
As with anything, you need to be all in. Rather than just thinking this is a good idea that you will get around to at the next convenient time, make a plan and write down what you are going to do. Make a commitment. By doing that, you will be off to a great start.
There’s no right or wrong way to spend time in nature. For some, it might mean a hike at the nearest state park. For others, it might be working in your garden. The first step is just to get outside. To breathe in the fresh air. To actually smell the roses. And most importantly, to clear your mind.
Beyond the choices you make, there is one other- often difficult- thing you should do. Or rather, not do. Leave your phone, tablet or laptop inside. Try to truly disconnect. To truly unplug. Even if it’s not work related, we all have a hard time ignoring our phone when it beeps or when we just get bored. So leave your electronics beyond, enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors and recharge your life. All for free.