How Nature Heals - The Poweful Effects
As we continue to share ideas on the mind/body connection today's topic is one of our favourites, The Powerful Effects of Nature on Your Wellbeing.
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
I spent a few hours this weekend out in nature hiking and it got me thinking about nature and my wellbeing. We wrote about hiking in the great outdoors last week and you can find that post here: https://wendybottrell.weebly.com/blog/benefits-to-hiking-in-the-great-outdoors-mind-body-and-spirit
You see it had been an extremely stressful week and what I know for sure is getting out for a long hike has always helped me with stress reduction. This weekend was no different. I left my house stressed and came home feeling like a different person. My heart was filled with joy and gratitude for my time in the forest, walking up and down the hills, breathing in the energy of nature as well as seeing the most spectacular beauty that nature had to offer me at that moment.
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” – EO wilson
We understand now more than ever before the positive and lasting influences that nature can have on how we feel. What you see, hear, smell, and sense is continually changing your mood as well as physical responses in your body that regulate hormones, nervous system activity, and much more. And natural elements and spending time outdoors is an excellent way to restore balance to your mind and body, which can enhance your well-being. Here is how.
Nature Restores the Balance to your Well-Being
There is a significant body of research that supports the claims that nature helps improve psychological health, including depression and anxiety, by calming worries and reducing stress. This allows you to feel more balanced, connected in your mind and body and in control of your life, which helps you focus on what is essential in your life. Spending time in the great outdoors is associated with finding meaning in life, having more vitality and energy, and having an overall positive outlook.
“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates
What I have found is that spending time outside regularly has helped me focus on solutions with a higher level of creativity to problem situations I may have.
IF you are stuck on a problem or trying to generate new ideas, go outside for a walk/hike and notice how much better your mind is functioning and how your body feels. Nature therapy is even being incorporated into treatments for disorders such as ADHD because it helps to increase attention span.
Nature Can Heal You, Mind, Body and Soul
Think about the healing benefits of nature this way for a moment. Imagine when you are outdoors surrounded by nature or even when you are just looking at nature scenes, your body responds with feeling less stressful, angry, or fearful and feeling more positive. At least this is how I feel. By lowing your blood pressure, reducing your heart rate, relaxing tense muscles, and producing fewer stress hormones, your body’s response to being in nature is clear and resounding.
“The greener the setting, the more the relief.” – Richard Louv
There are even some studies to suggest that those who spend more time outside are more likely to live longer. Adding natural elements, like plants, to indoor spaces, is one way to bring nature closer to your daily life and improve your overall well-being.
Nature Can Ease Pain and Discomfort
In addition to promoting overall better health, nature and being in green spaces can help you cope with pain and chronic conditions. Our brains are genetically programmed to respond positively to water, plants, trees, and animals in a positive way, and you likely find that you are very engrossed in what is around you when you are surrounded by nature. This effect distracts you from pain and other symptoms, which can make you feel more positive about your condition. This has been my experience at least.
“I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs
When you are sick or immobile, being able to look at natural scenes, such as trees, can be enough to promote better outcomes, according to some researchers. And being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is always going to improve your outlook.
Spending time outdoors is not only fun but also good for your mind, body and spirit. The healing, soothing, and connecting effects of spending time in nature offer lasting benefits to your long-term wellness.
What we know for sure is that our health and wellbeing has improved by taking up hiking the trails regularly. How about you? Do you get out in nature? What benefits have there been? Share any thoughts in the comments below.
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“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
We have outsourced our lifestyle for way too long!