Connecting with Nature & Healing
“Love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home which we will ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had eyes to see.” Edward Abbey.
Throughout history, humans have spent time outdoors and have had direct contact with Mother Nature. From walking on the ground barefoot, to gardening or tilling the soil, humans have always touched the earth… However these activities have reduced over the years.
Many people live in cities and urban areas, away from natural green scapes and wildlife. Studies over the years have shown that people who live in urban areas and spend less time outside, have a higher incidence of psychological problems such as anxiety and depression, than people who live near parks and natural environments.
The same studies show that city dwellers that spend more time outside, even if for a short nature walk or a stroll in a park, were more attentive, happier, and had lower levels of stress hormones
“Being in nature, one becomes aware of the infinite circles of life,” says Dr. Kirsti Dyer in her research essay dedicated to the therapeutic modalities of nature awareness.
She explains what many of us may intuitively feel that when we explore the great outdoors, “There is evidence of decay, destruction and death; there are also examples of rejuvenation, restoration, and renewal. The never-ending cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth can put life and death into perspective and impart a sense of constancy after experiencing a life changing loss or death”.
When looking more deeply, many believe the boost in health and well-being comes from that connectedness to our primal roots, whether we realize it or not.
“There’s no better way to feel the power of the elements, and our own power than by experiencing oneness with nature,” explains Lyn Roberts and Robert Levy
“Australian aborigines go on walkabout, Thai monks conduct prayer walks through the jungle, Native Americans fast on vision quests, and the ancient Celts walked the hills, staff in hand. Around the world… all found guidance, healing, inspiration, and connection with spirit on their walks” Dr. John Davis.
These people know that living in balance with and being awed by the beauty of the mountains, streams, trees, breeze, stars, etc. promotes a sense of connectedness, healing, and encouragement.
Attuning to nature, we are shown how life can be and that it does become more dynamic and intimate.
Experiencing this connection heals our bodies on all levels: physiologically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and expands our consciousness in terms of giving us fresh ways to look at our world and ourselves.
Nature can no doubt become a place of refuge for difficult times. When life circumstances start to close in, one can physically and mentally escape to wilderness. Being in nature helps to refresh our clogged emotions and clear our thoughts of daily demands and stresses. With this in mind, studies show that being in nature may put the brain in a meditative state. This helps to clear the mind to allow fresh thoughts and the ability to find answers to life’s questions
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter “Rachel Carson, Silent Spring.
All references from The B Earth Institute
NATURE’S HEALTH BENEFITS
It Boosts Your Mood
It Keeps You in the Present
It Energizes You
It Makes You Kinder
It Grounds you
It Strengthens Your Spirituality
It embodies you
It brings a sense of wonder & innocence
If you feel moved towards Healing Yourself or Loved One by Connecting to Nature