By Sophia Smith
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Have you ever noticed how nervous and moody you feel when you’re stuck in an office or at home for a longer period of time? Yet, you feel so calm and happy when you spend some time in nature. This isn’t just you. It applies to mostly everybody. So, what is it about nature that affects us so positively and what exactly does it do to improve our well-being and lead us to self-discovery? Here are some answers to these and similar questions.
Nature Can Reduce Stress
Stress is one of the most common diseases of the modern age, which isn’t really strange, considering how much time we spend indoors, in front of various screens or in busy traffic. Nature can help you lower the effects of all of the negative things we live through daily, as it can reduce the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body. How? Well, the color green has a positive impact on your psyche, meaning that it can calm you down and boost your optimism.
Similarly, the sounds of nature are soothing, allowing your mind and body to regain some balance and function better. Finally, the mere lack of your usual stressors can help you find some inner peace, which can be your ally in the battle against stress.
Nature Helps You Connect
Nowadays, most of us lead fast-paced lives with a plethora of stimuli to keep our minds busy with the mundane things, like work or cheap entertainment. This leaves you with very little time to stay in touch with other people, but also with yourself. In contrast, the great outdoors provides you with the perfect surroundings for reconnecting with those around you and with your own inner person.
When on a walk, hike or even just a picnic in the park, your environment is more likely to motivate you to either talk to other people or simply think. That way you create bonds with those around you, a strong sense of unity and your emotions for people are enhanced. As far as reconnecting with yourself goes, the natural settings will provide you with the tranquility you need to look inside yourself and consider your thoughts and actions from a fresh and clear-minded perspective.
Nature Lets You Grow
It’s through learning that we grow, whether we’re finding out things about ourselves or the world around us. For instance, if you go camping or merely hiking through a forest, there is so much you can observe. Listen to the sounds around you, pay attention to the animals and plants, feel the ambience you’re in and you’ll start noticing things you never knew were there. Perhaps you can start picking medicinal herbs or even learn different kinds of mushrooms, so that you can gather them in the wild.
You can even master using various useful tools, as those are essential, whether you go fishing or camping. One good example is a high-quality OTF knife, which is a multi-purpose tool and it’s something you should always carry and know how to handle. That way you can cut and slice whatever you need to and it can even come in handy in case of emergency, if you ever have to defend yourself. Through all of these newly-gained nature-related knowledge and skills, you become more enlightened and accomplished, discovering new things about yourself and growing in the process.
Nature Boosts Your Health
Spending time outdoors isn’t only good for your mental health, but your physical health, too. Most likely, the reason behind this is that, while outside, you’re more inclined to move than when in a closed space. Jogging, group sports, swimming, cycling or walking are all excellent activities for anybody, especially when you’re doing them in nature. You get to breathe fresh air and increase your strength, stamina and energy levels.
In addition, outdoor exercising may be a great way to avoid development of several different eyesight issues, such as myopia and hypermetropia. Also, any sort of outdoor physical activity will help you lose weight and lower your BMI, so that you’re fitter and more flexible, preventing yourself from becoming obese. Obesity is dangerous for many reasons, but mostly due to the fact it can lead to various health problems, like heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol levels, so keeping it at bay through outdoor physical activity can contribute to your physical well-being.
Nature Makes You Humbler
This is another way for you to grow. When in nature, surrounded by its grandiosity and beauty, your sense of wonder awakens. You become more aware of your own insignificance in comparison to nature’s magnificence, and you become amazed by all of its phenomena. The sounds, shapes and colors can leave you astonished and lead you to the realization of being so small and irrelevant in a passing world, until you become more modest, respectful and grateful for what you have and what you can experience thanks to the marvel of nature. Being able to walk, breathe, see and hear everything nature offers us can feel like a blessing and that’s a feeling you should nurture, as it has the potential of making you more thankful for the life you’re living and all of the gifts it bears.
From your mind to your body to your soul, nature’s healing and soothing properties are something you should enjoy and appreciate. So, if you ever feel lost, find a mountain path, a lake shore or a green field where you can walk, run, cycle or do yoga, so as to find some meaning in life.
About the author:
Sophia Smith is a lifestyle blogger, graphic designer and food enthusiast. She is very passionate about eco-friendly and green topics, sustainable fashion, eco beauty, and conscious business. Sophia’s other hobbies centre around her love for yoga, wellness rituals and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that inspires people and has covered topics ranging from organic beauty products and sustainability to self-care and mental health.
Sophia has contributed to a number of publications including Longevity Live, Naughty Nutrition, Herbs Mother Earth Living, Sivana Spirit, Urban Naturale, Awaken, Carousel, Literally Darling and Cause Artist.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter (@sophia_bri)