Photo by AdinaVoicu via Pixabay (CC0)

Getting Back in Touch With Nature

When was the last time you actually stopped, and admired nature? Looked closely at an anthill, and watched them bring food to their nest... Observed the squirrels frolic and play in the trees, or even just paid mind to a bug walking by?

Today’s fast paced life has taken us so far out of our environment and detached us so far from reality, and we spend our days racing from one place to the next, not even giving our minds a chance to reconnect.

When we were kids, we ran through the woods, climbed trees, ate plants, caught bugs, we even dug holes and buried ourselves with dirt. We just let it all go and had fun.

Today, we compound stress by burying ourselves in entertainment and social media, which brings immediate, yet short lived joy. So we really aren’t relieving our stress, we’re burying it.

About 100 years ago, people were very attuned to the environment. They had to be. It was the source of their livelihood. When the seasons changed, their lifestyle changed. They didn’t just go to the store and get a carton of milk and a dozen eggs. They raised and milked the cows and collected the eggs. They grew their own food. They lived off of the land. Today, we live in a society so out of touch with our environment that we’ve grown accustomed to looking at nature and landscapes as just beautiful wallpapers or screensaver on our electronic devices. To lots of us, food comes from a supermarket shelf, in a wide assortment of varieties and colors, as instantaneous as we’d like. We don’t even walk outside anymore. “That’s what treadmills are for, right?”

All these luxuries are great, however, although we are truly part of nature, we really have disconnected ourselves from it, for the worse.

The Benefits of Nature

We all realize that nature is appealing. That may be simply because we’re designed to have a connection with it.

A study by the University of Michigan showed that after just an hour of outdoor nature time, memory and attentiveness increases by 20 percent.

Other studies have shown that a simple walk outdoors will reduce tension, depression and improve self esteem. It can also increase problem solving, coping and teamwork skills and help to develop self-discipline.

There are many things we can learn from nature if we take a look.

When we’re close to nature, we are more mindful of protecting and maintaining our environment. Being close to nature can help us realize that we are just a small component of a much bigger, moving, ever changing picture, and so many of the things that stress us out on the day to day are just fleeting nothings which carry no real weight. Connecting with nature can help us to cultivate a mindset of happiness, peace and love.

Here Are Some Ways To Reconnect With Nature

  • Take a walk
  • Go fishing
  • Plant a garden
  • Meditate outside
  • Open the windows and blinds for breeze
  • Lay outside at night and stargaze
  • Eat fresh, organic foods
  • Go camping
  • Go hiking
  • Have an outdoor picnic or barbecue

Try it! Get out of the house, get off your phone, shut off the TV, and spend some time outdoors. Be a kid again and explore the woods to see what you’ll find! Relax under a tree and read a good book. Go out and admire how everything works on its own, yet fits together so well, the plants and animals coexist together. Admire nature, respect it, and realize that you are not an outsider looking in. You are an amazing, important part of it.