Have you ever wondered why just being outside, taking a walk, or doing any outdoor activity makes you feel instantly better, happier, and more energetic overall? Nature can be a powerful way to help heal the body and soul.
Unfortunately, people evolving technology means people stray further and further away from nature. Many exist in online echo chambers. So they forget to take a breather and enjoy all the benefits that nature can provide. Are you stuck in your old ways? Or are you unconvinced that nature can heal the body and soul? Then read on to find out what miracles nature has in stock for you.
1. Nature And Spiritual Well-Being
You might hear the word “spirituality” and immediately think about religion. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Spirituality, as characterized by the academic community, is a multidimensional construct that defines relationships with community, self, the environment, and theological components.
In this specific instance, spirituality is used to group the former three items (self, community, and environment).
Have you ever been awestruck by the sheer magnificence and magnitude of the world surrounding you? Have your surroundings ever stopped you in your tracks, and you just found yourself staring at how beautiful the world is?
Nature can have that effect on people. It would be impossible not to be mesmerized when you look around and see colorful flowers, towering trees, mountains so high you can’t even imagine, seas as clear as crystal, the list goes on and on.
The wonder you feel when you take the time to internalize everything around you, instead of being glued to a screen 24/7, can make you feel connected to everything around you. This can help you shift your perspective from irritable and moody to immediately grateful for being where you are. Just acknowledging how small you are compared to everything in the universe, yet how vital you are nonetheless, can help you feel gratitude, making you more self-fulfilled.
· Nature Grounds You to Help Heal Body and Soul
Grounding is an emerging field of study concerned with the positive effects of your body electrically connecting to the earth. The earth pulses out an electromagnetic frequency (the Schumann Resonance) that connects to the human body that is fully conductive
Laura Koniver, M.D., states that when grounding, everything from your brain to your muscle tension and heartbeat responds in a healing way to the process.
The human cells are immediately grounded whenever the body touches the earth. Thus the body naturally goes into a healing state. This restoration improves circulatory function, sleeping rhythms and reduces inflammation, stress, and anxiety.
· Nature Allows You To Focus On Your Senses
When you are in an office, surrounded by technology, your only stimulation is provided by said technology and the need to get everything done and go home and rest. Nature can provide an escape from that by allowing you to relax and let your senses be stimulated by everything around you.
When in nature, you can enjoy all types of sensory experiences. From the sound of a branch snapping to the sight of a colorful bird to the smell of the grass, everything can be taken in without thinking about it. No stress, no overthinking, just feeling and being present in the moment.
The stimulation of all your senses can help you relax, meditate, understand who you are and what makes you happy, and is the best way to connect to your inner self.
2. Nature Heals Mental Health, As Well as Body and Soul
One of the main ways in which nature heals is through the mind. Whenever you are out in nature, without any distractions, your mental health immediately improves.
· Nature And Ecotherapy
Nature effectively alleviates mental health issues that psychologists now support ecotherapy as a healing measure.
Ecotherapy is essentially the practice of being in nature to boost growth and healing. It can range from adventure therapy to arts and crafts to animal-assisted treatment and much more. Anything you can do outside with the assistance and guidance of a counselor falls under the umbrella of the term.
Ecotherapy is not limited to people with mental health conditions. Anyone can do it, and everyone who does it benefits from it. You don’t need to be frightened by the idea. It’s not all about exhausting physical activities. It can be how challenging you want it to be. Don’t like the idea of walking for hours? Maybe gardening is for you. Or maybe growing plants, playing with animals, sailing, meditation, whatever crosses your mind.
This type of therapy connects to fewer depression symptoms, less anxiety, and increased relationship connection.
· Nature Leads To Less Stress
Have you ever dreaded leaving the outdoors, knowing that later in the day, you will be stuck inside, in a city full of buildings, bricks, and asphalt? Without question, you would rather be on a beach right now than in an office or stuck inside your house.
The environment is directly tied to your stress levels. When you step outdoors, you evade closed, cluttered, ugly, or inefficient surroundings. This dysfunctional space will immediately lead to a more stressful life. As soon as you swap that environment for the outdoors, you will feel yourself become more and more relaxed.
What you are seeing, hearing, smelling, or otherwise sensing is tied not only to your mood but to how your endocrine, nervous, and immune systems work.
Nature is directly tied to lower cortisol levels and other stress-related hormones, making you feel more relaxed and freer. This correlates to less anxiety and depression and an overall better mood.
Simply having plants in your office or home can do the trick if you find yourself unable to enjoy a full day outdoors without any distractions.
Simply exploring nature will inevitably teach you new things. Maybe you learn something about flora and fauna, perhaps you try a new sport, whatever you might choose to do it will be a unique experience.
Research at UCL has found that learning new things, coupled with the fact that the outdoors are the perfect place to self-reflect, can give you a massive boost in confidence.
Another study shows that adults with higher exposure to nature reported a more positive body image and higher self-esteem. Professor Viren Swami, the lead author of the study, shared that spending time in nature can help people develop a sense of ownership over their physical self, give them tremendous respect and understanding for what their bodies can do. It can switch the focus from the aspect of the body to the capabilities of the body.
Nature can also help facilitate social interactions, helping you make new friends, which can help you feel like, thus increasing confidence.
3. Nature And Physical Well-Being
No matter how lazy or out of shape you might be, just being in nature is going to make you want to explore as much as you can. Why not walk through those woods? Look how pretty they are! Why not explore the mountains? Why not try sailing if you are at the beach? The wonders of nature will make even the most sedentary person enjoy the experience.
· Nature Helps Lower BMI
Studies have found that the simple act of walking around can help you reach or sustain a healthy BMI. Having a healthy BMI is important because it indicates that you aren’t prone to heart disease and other issues related to either obesity or being severely underweight.
Being in nature is an exercise, even if you don’t specifically mean for it to be. So what are some ways you can heal your body and soul by getting outdoors?
- Walking around a park
- Taking care of animals
- Outdoor sports
Nature is so beautiful that you will look forward to spending this time outside.
· Nature Can Prevent Certain Diseases
As we discussed, being in nature leads to lower levels of stress. This is important not only for the immediate psychological benefits but also because lower levels of stress directly link with the prevention of many health issues.
Many plants have also been shown to release immunity-boosting organic compounds into the air, filtering the air and reducing stress hormones in your body.
Lower levels of stress prepare you for better sleep, which can prevent the risk of insomnia. Lower blood pressure is another benefit, which reduces the risk of developing heart problems. Less stress can also improve your digestion and boost your immune system.
· Nature Improves Cognitive Function
Studies have shown that time in nature improves the acquisition and goal-oriented use of knowledge by improving memory formation and recall and goal-oriented or directed attention.
Allowing you to relax and focus on one thing at a time can help boost your attention span and short-term memory functions, thus allowing you to execute better different tasks required of you when you inevitably return to society.
Not feeling incentivized to spend a lot of time in nature is understandable in the context of today’s society. It is normal to feel tied down to your city, your job, technology, and urban life in general. Remember that even a simple walk in the park can help whenever you feel suffocated by the big city life.
Whether you are suffering from fatigue, mental problems, physical issues, or simply feeling lost, exposure to nature can be the best way to help you heal. Nature allows you to connect with yourself spiritually, thus giving you time to introspect and become more fulfilled.
It can be the best therapist when you are feeling down, helping you navigate feelings of stress, anxiety, and even symptoms of depression. And, last but not least, it is the best medium through which to keep your physical health in check, making sure that your BMI levels are normal, preventing certain diseases, and improving mental acuity. So it is clear that nature can help heal the body and soul.