According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing “Research reveals that environments can increase or reduce our stress, which in turn impacts our bodies. What you are seeing, hearing, experiencing at any moment is changing not only your mood, but how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working.”
Have you ever noticed that when you’re in nature your cares and worries melt away? You feel in the present moment. When I’m in nature I feel lighter and reconnect with childlike wonder at the beauty that surrounds me. Stress melts away and I feel light, carefree, and playful. When I’m in, on or by water I feel energized.
Nature has a number of therapeutic benefits. Did you know that:
- Children who grow up in big cities with little or no interaction with nature often suffer from “Nature-Deficit Disorder” which is characterized by anxiety, depression and attention-deficit problems. Research by Richard Louv and others show that regular connection with nature results in “everything from a positive effect on the attention span to stress reduction to creativity, cognitive development, and (a) sense of wonder and connection to the earth”.
- The Japanese have done longitudinal research on the benefits of walking in forests. They have found that walking in forests strengthens your immune system, reduces your heart rate and reduces your blood pressure. Based on these findings, they have institutionalized what they call “forest bathing” or “forest therapy” and have created a number of centers across Japan where people can go and walk in forests.
- Spending regular time in nature can boost mental acuity, promote health and wellness, “build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds.” 
So how can you spend more time in nature?
- Start walking or cycling to work if that is a possibility
- Go for walks at lunch in park-like environments
- Take short breaks when you’re feeling stressed at work and walk in nearby gardens or parks
- Plan family outings or time with friends hiking, kayaking, camping, walking …
- Have picnics with friends or family. You can be spontaneous and email or call some friends and say “we’re having a picnic on the beach tonight. It’s potluck. We’d love to have you join us. Bring what you would like to share.”
And notice how you feel before, during and after spending time in nature.
I’d love to hear from you strategies you use to spend more time in nature, and the effects you experience when you do so. I welcome your comments below. Feel free to share with others who you think may benefit.
 The Nature Principle – http://richardlouv.com/books/nature-principle/
Great post Pamela as nature is such an essential element in healing, restoring balance, and grounding our energies. Many of my sessions with clients take place outside in nature for optimal well-being. xo
Hi Debra, So true nature is such an essential element in healing. That’s great that you take your clients outside in nature! Happy you resonated with the post 🙂
Ever since I was a little kid born and raised in the city I’ve always known that I belonged in the country. Now I am retired and I wouldn’t live anywhere else! I am happier and healthier, and so content!
Good for you to have realized that you belong in the country and for creating a retirement home in an environment you love! Congrats on your self-awareness and manifesting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Appreciating all your reminders! I live on a canal, 4 houses from the open waters of Tampa Bay and never kayak; I live 20 minutes from 2 of the top 5 beaches and never get there. Holy Macarole! Time to change!
Lucky you! Sounds like you live in a beautiful place.Happy I provided you some reasons and hopefully motivation to change. Enjoy the journey 🙂
Nature is especially healing for a sensitive soul like me. I love it all the fresh air, seeing animals, plants, trees and connecting with myself. I did not know about “Nature-Deficit Disorder” I can understand why it happens. Thanks for teaching me something new, Pam. Blessings! Lisa
Hi Lisa, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with nature. It is true what they say about hugging trees :). Happy you learned something new. Warmly, Pam
I don’t know what my day would be like if I didn’t start it outside with my animals. It grounds me for the entire day! Thanks for sharing your reminders!!
It’s so true! Walking in nature with animals is a wonderful way to start your day. I used to have a black lab and loved walking in the nearby forest with him. Happy you found the post useful. Warmly, Pam
Living in New Hampshire, there’s no shortage of nature! I wish I could show you a picture of my back porch – I’m surrounded by trees! As long as the weather permits, I practice yoga out there. This morning it was simply gorgeous. Add in a slight breeze and my wind chimes sang along with the leaves!
Lucky you Peggy! Sounds like a beautiful place you live in. Thanks for sharing 🙂
You’re speaking my language, Pam! Being outside in nature is my best way to reconnect with my inner divine. Thank you for a great post!
Hi Sheila, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and positive feedback 🙂 . Warmly, Pam
Excellent advice on easy ways to connect with nature, Pam! I had never heard of “Nature-Deficit Disorder” which is characterized by anxiety, depression and attention-deficit problems, but it makes total sense. I know a lot of people who use “grounding” techniques, so I try to take frequent breaks during the day & walk around in my back yard barefoot.
Thanks Tae Lynne. Happy you learned something new 🙂