Mother Nature – what a clever woman; to be able to produce such diversity, beauty and wonder! You only have to look around you to see amazing things that cannot help but lift your mood and make you feel good. Here are some tips to help you bond with Mother Nature so you can experience the benefits that such an experience can provide.
Psychologists and scientists have proven conclusively that getting outdoors has a positive effect on human health, both physically and psychologically. There have been numerous studies conducted in many different countries that show health benefits such as improved moods, reduced stress, having a more positive outlook, greater results generated from exercise performed outdoors and, in a recent study at the Nippon Medical School in Japan, an increase in white blood cells which help to fight diseases like cancer.
So, how can you get some time with Mother Natures so you too can reap the benefits? Don’t feel that you have to trek in the Rockies or roam the hills of Mongolia to get the outdoors experience; you can get the same benefits in your own back yard, or even your own balcony, if that’s all you have access to. The important thing is to get outside and smell the roses, as it were.
I have a favorite way to start the day; I don’t always manage to do it because a very busy life gets in the way sometimes. We do seem to lead such busy lives these days don’t we? All the more reason to make time to bond with nature for relaxation and de-stressing.
Anyway, when I can, I go outside first thing in the morning and stand facing the sun, with my feet comfortably apart. I then slowly breathe in deeply while raising my arms above my head. I hold a good upward stretch in that position, face turned to the sky for the count of three, while also holding my breath, then slowly exhale and lower my arms to the side. After repeating this two more times I experience a deep sense of calm and peace, while feeling energized at the same time, and this stays with me for some time. What a great way to greet the day!
Block in some time every day to spend outdoors, even if only for a few minutes. When we lead such busy lives, it is important to block in the time rather than try to ‘make’ the time to spend with nature; that never happens, as the urgent tends to take up all our time and energy. But if you allocate some time in your schedule, you are more likely to do it. Get up half an hour earlier to go for a walk, get outside during your lunch hour and walk or sit in a local park, plan a weekend outing or spend some time in your garden after work during the warmer months when the days are longer.
Of course, just being outdoors is only part of the process of truly bonding with Mother Nature. How often have you walked around your neighborhood without really seeing any of the gardens or spotting a bird or admiring a majestic tree? To really bond with nature, you need to be present and open to seeing, hearing, touching and smelling the wonders that make up the natural world. Stop and admire a neighbor’s garden, noticing and appreciating flowers that have opened since you last walked by or how the leaves are starting to change color or watch a butterfly flitting around the plants.
In your own yard or a park, sit on the grass and feel its softness, its spikiness; check out the insects that live there; wonder at how the leaves are arranged on the stems; notice how many different greens there are. Look at a tree or bush; really look and see what is hidden there. What insects or animals can you spot? Are there new shoots on the plant or flowers starting to bud? Noticing the small features gives you a greater appreciation of the whole.
Whenever you can, take a road trip to the beach or the forest or the countryside. Here is where you can appreciate Mother Nature on a grand scale. I find that just gazing off into the distance of the ocean or mountains or across fields is a really relaxing and uplifting experience. It’s a great experience to gaze and wonder at the magnificence of the natural world and I find it helps to put the little irritations and troubles of life into perspective. I always feel like I have charged my personal batteries after spending quality time communing with nature, whether on a large or small scale, and often find solutions to things that have been bothering me.
I hope you have found some ideas in these tips to help you bond with Mother Nature. Find time every day to get outside and use all your senses to appreciate the natural world around you. See the beauty and intricacy that Mother Nature has to offer; hear the creatures that abound; smell the flowers, leaves and ocean; feel the touch of a breeze on your skin or the roughness of the bark of a tree and you will also experience the health benefits these activities invariable provide.