Even the most anti-outdoorsy type has to admit that they feel calmer when they smell the fresh air and see the sunlight filtering in through the leaves. It fills us with a sense of comfort and relaxation.
Not only does it make us feel good, but it also heals us from the inside out. It shows in how we think more clearly and how our moods are restored when we’re around nature.
Keep reading to learn more about how to heal yourself through nature.
Why Do We Feel Good When We’re in Nature?
Getting back to nature acts as a reminder that we’re all part of the natural world. We’re all connected somehow, which is why you feel at peace when you’re in a quiet forest or a meadow.
Think of when you walk barefoot on the beach or a patch of green grass. You know that pleasant feeling you get? It feels like you’re home, comfortable, relaxed, and at ease.
The best part is all the stress and tension you’ve been holding onto melts away somehow. It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you feel freer and lighter.
How Can We Reconnect with Nature?
Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature and take advantage of its healing benefits can be a challenge in our hectic lifestyles. Yet, you don’t have to go camping in the middle of nowhere to enjoy nature. Instead, there are ways you can do just that right in the comfort of your own home.
Take a look.
Don’t lose hope if you’re not into hiking or camping outdoors. You can still be close to nature but in a different way.
For example, you can plant a vegetable garden in your yard. Tending to plants allows you to spend a good deal of time with nature and connect with the earth.
You get to breathe in the fresh smell of the soil and the plants themselves. But, of course, that’s even more enjoyable if you’re planting fragrant plants, such as jasmines, roses, or lilies.
You also get to connect to nature in a hands-on, visceral way that, for some people, can become very personal. In fact, many gardeners say that when they’re tending their gardens, they feel a deeper bond with nature they hadn’t felt before.
Many also feel that gardening makes them feel that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. This special connection allows them to bridge the gap between our hectic, modern world and the natural world.
Being outdoors is such a wonderful opportunity to slow down and breathe. Look around and see all the colors around you. Take in how the light plays through the leaves or reflects off a big, shiny rock.
Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale as much fresh, clean air as you can to cleanse out your lungs from the smog and fumes, we’re so used to taking in.
Then, stop and listen. Really listen to the birds and crickets chirping, as well as any other creatures, big or small.
Also, if there’s a brook or stream nearby, pay close attention to the sound of the water. Studies show that the sound of running water is calming and can even have an anti-depressant effect.
Yet, the best thing to listen out for in nature is nothing. That calm quietude has become so rare that we sometimes don’t know just how much we miss.
‘Forest bathing,’ or ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, is the art of moving slowly and mindfully through a forest. The aim of this Asian practice is for you to engage all your five senses along the way.
So, with each step, you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. This experience is similar to mindful meditation, which we mentioned above.
Yet, it goes beyond stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system or reducing your stress levels. Forest bathing also helps increase anti-inflammatory properties in your body and boost your immune system, all thanks to the terpenes you inhale as you’re walking through the forest.
More and more, people are starting to realize that the best way to heal themselves is by getting back to nature. It’s true that the more time we take to relax and unwind in nature, the better off we’ll be.