The benefits of being in nature are numerous. The reason behind this is quite simple: there’s a very strong maternal connection between humans and nature. In fact, nature has been popularized as “Mother Nature” for a very long time, and it’s actually a very accurate description. Just like children come from mothers, we come from nature. Because we were originally ONE with nature, closely and directly intertwined with it; we used to coexist freely and directly with it.
Sadly, modern lifestyle has alienated us from our natural home. Consequently, in order to finally feel complete, we need to head back to our origins. Andy Goldsworth couldn’t have said it better.
We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.Andy goldsworth
It’s easy to conclude that we were consciously made to live within nature. We are innately wired to nature; it is where we belong. This is the reason why Mother Nature replenishes us, nurtures us, sustains us, and completes us in every aspect and essence of our Self. Just like a mother would.
Research on psychological and physiological benefits of being in nature easily backs this up.
The benefits of being in nature are as follows:
1. Nature can reduce chronic disease.
Our connection to Nature and Earth is so intense, that it even transcends to a cellular level! Here is how:
Mother Earth is a strong energy field. It is highly gifted with electrons that our bodies need in order to stabilize the electrical environment of all our molecules within our cells, tissues and organs.
To access these electrons, we need direct (and constant) contact with the earth. An effective way to achieve this is by grounding (or earthing) our bare feet on the natural ground. It may be sand, grass, or soil. The Earth’s electrons are then absorbed through our feet, accessing every single part of the human body, restoring all of our organs’ functions, and therefore, boosting our immune system.
The benefits of walking barefoot are well known in ancient spiritual teachings, such as those of the Yogi, the Qigongs, and the Native American Indians. Experiments conducted by grounding pioneer Clint Ober and other relevant researchers such as Doctors Karol and Powel Sokal strongly resonate with these teachings. Their experiments consisted on grounding people through conductive elements such as bed pads and electrode patches connected to the earth outside. They found that diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, inflammation, and other related chronic pain, are due to lack of direct contact with the earth.
Their studies have also concluded that Earth’s electrons act as natural antioxidants that counteract aging effects on humans as well as reduce cortisol (or stress) levels. Being connected to the ground while sleeping also reduces insomnia!
Now let’s check out the benefits of nature regarding our mental health:
2. Nature can reset your minds by keeping you in the present.
When you’re are in nature, you’re at home. Therefore, it’s easier for you to connect with your true nature —your Higher Self. You become so comfortable, so at ease, that you automatically become mindful of our environment.
All this considered, nature invites your mind to relax to such an extent that it naturally meditates. Which means that it quiets the chatty mind and resets it. It provides it with an opportunity to unwind.
In this way, nature heals.
It heals your brains in both physical and psychological ways. Research has shown that constant meditation practices enlarge the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory. At the same, it is known to decrease the areas of the brain in charge of anxiety and stress.
This can be easily confirmed through the Attention Restoration Theory, first established by Rachel and Stephen Kaplan in 1989. This theory states that nature restores the brain in such a way, that it improves its levels of attention and concentration.
Additionally, research has shown that people living in urban areas have higher chances of mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.
In what ways can we pursue our connection with Nature?
1. Be mindful and appreciative of every being encountered in nature.
Learn to find joy in the little things. Pay attention to creatures found in nature. (Also to those found indoors)! Our connection with mother nature extends to all sentient beings. It can go from bugs to farms and domesticated animals. Let yourself enjoy the present moment and feel love for the beauty of Mother Nature. Allowing your mind to pay close attention to your surroundings is a safe pathway to mindfulness.
Don’t take for granted the beauty that surrounds you. Feeling deep appreciation and gratitude for even the slightest things can easily translate into happiness and well-being. Having pets around the house can also be quite beneficial for your mental health. Research has shown that human-pet relationships foster general well-being, as they represent a strong emotional support in times of crises.
2. Target natural settings in your city.
Going for a walk or a run in a nearby park may do the trick. But if you’re more of a sit-and-relax kind of person, do not hesitate to grab a blanket and place it on a green spot in the middle of a city. It may be just as refreshing!
If you’ve found a perfect spot for this, you can either sit down with a book, have a picnic, or just interact with family or close friends. For an even stronger connection with nature, you could try this quick visualization meditation for grounding.
- Place your bare feet flat on the floor. You may be sitting down or standing.
- Visualize a cord coming from your feet towards the core of Mother Earth.
- Imagine energy being drawn from the earth to all parts of your Self.
- Focus on this connection for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Whenever you feel that a strong connection has been established with Mother Earth, be ready to visualize the chord slowly detaching from the core and returning to your Self.
3. Gardening is also another great way to connect with Nature.
According to a recent study, home gardening yields as much happiness as other leisure activities such as walking, biking, and dining out.
Home gardening is ranked as one of the top five activities in terms of how meaningful it felt to people while engaging in it. Its benefits extend from access to fresh fruits and vegetables, physical activity, and an increase in emotional well-being. Based on these results, gardening may improve quality of life and is a way of getting in touch with nature while residing in an urban community.
4. Find ways to heal the Earth
We rely so much on Mother Earth, that if we find ways to heal it, we are closer to healing ourselves as well.
It might not sound like much, but it is possible to enact small (yet significant) changes in our lives that can help make a difference:
- Choose locally sourced, organic food. Their fewer use of toxins and chemicals has a much less harmful impact on the environment. Although they may be a tad more expensive, they’re a lot healthier!
- Unplug all devices and electronics whenever you’re not using them. Even when turned off, devices continue consuming energy.
- If possible, reduce the amount of gas emission through vehicles. Consider public transportation or carpooling.
- Avoid the use of the washing machine or the dishwasher. Make use of them only when fully loaded.
- Save water. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or in between dishes.
- If possible, grow your own food. If you lack the space or the means, maybe consider starting low. We have already mentioned the numerous effects of gardening, but getting down on Earth and experiencing its fruits firsthand can also make us a lot more appreciative of it.
- Avoid using plastic-made materials, and disposable items such as razors and coffee pods. You can go around with your own thermos, instead of constantly buying bottled water.
- Recycle old clothes and sort food into categories that can be recycled. Reduce your level of consumption, and reuse specific items.
- If possible, eat less meat.
Being aware of actions you can take to protect and save Mother Earth guides you closer to your Higher Self. So be ready to reciprocate all the unconditional love our mother provides us on a regular basis.
Nature is and will always be, your home.
As human beings, we are fundamentally connected to Mother Nature. We are inherently attached to it, as it was once our home. This is why the benefits of being in nature are quite numerous. We come from nature, and hence, nature heals us. For this sole reason, we must always find the means to go back home.
The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.Paracelsus
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How to reference this article
Pelaez.S (2021). The Benefits of being in nature PsycheSpot https://www.psychespot.com/mental-awareness/the-benefits-of-being-in-nature
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Photos by Laura Heric
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