What do I mean when I say Nature?
According to the Webster's Dictionary the definition of nature is "the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people." That means going outside on my balcony and sitting in the sun, listening to the birds in the near by trees, and feeling the wind on my face is part of nature.
Now to be honest, I much rather go for a long walk on an empty beach and stand in the surf, breathing in the revitalizing ocean air or hike to the the many gorgeous waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge and smell the rich, earthy forest scents, but when that isn't possible I can make time for nature right here in my home.
Spending time in nature is a key element to filling the mind, body, and spirit well, but also provide healing from the harsh energies that surround modern life.
Mind. There are many studies out there that show the benefits of nature. For example one study done at Stanford showed a decrease in anxiety and improvement in cognition. These are just two of the many ways fills the mind well. For me a hike in the woods, calms my mind, gives me clarity in decision-making, and the endorphin boost from the physical movement give me the feeling of well-being.
Body. Humans are made to move, when we don't things don't go so well. Exercising outside only adds to the abundance positives from nature. First of all when you are out in the park all of your senses are being exposed to nature. The fresh air helps with detoxifying your body when you exercise. A simple walk through the local park not only fills the mind well, but your body's well too.
Spirit. Nature is one of the best ways to feed the soul. Nature inspires creativity, nature sounds heal, and nature smells uplift. Take a moment and go outside. Take off your shoes and let your feet touch the earth. Focus on cool feeling of the dirt or grass touching your soles. What do your feel? Do you feel pulled down deeper as if growing roots into the earth? To your toes tingle? Follow whatever you are feeling for a few minutes and then come back to your body. How do you feel now? Chances are you are feeling pretty grounded. This is my go -to exercise when I feel like the world is pulling me in every direction.
Here are some other nature tips that have helped me:
- Walking around the playground at the park while my daughter plays
- Standing in the grass bare-foot for 5-10 minutes
- Sitting on a rock near a river or stream and sticking my feet in the water
- Watering the flowers and plants on my balcony
- Weeding the planters and pruning the dead flowers
- Taking a 15-20 minute jog through a nature park
- Drinking my morning tea or a glass of water outside on my balcony
- Watching the sunset or sunrise
- Doing 15-20 minute yoga stretches outside in the park or on my balcony
- Dedicating a weekly hour to a specific "hobby" in nature like hiking, kayaking, biking, skiing, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, or whatever is appropriate for the season you are in and location you live in.