Are you losing yourself, dismissing your dream, setting aside your happiness to the stressful life you live? Are you struggling with keeping up on housework, homework, and work work, not getting even a second to breathe? Well, you are not alone.
In today’s society, many people have learned to believe that if you are not busy in your everyday life, then you are not accomplished. So we all overbook ourselves, pack our kids’ schedules full of activities, and offer to do more at work than we can handle, just to prove we can do it all.
Luckily, there is a way to relax, to let go of it all, even if it’s just for a moment or two. There is a way to connect with more positive emotions in your life, practice mindfulness, and live in the present moment. Feeling connectedness with nature by enjoying the great wide open, if only for a short while, can be a big help to your everyday life. You will be astonished at how much better you feel after spending time in the natural world.
How Have We Become So Disconnected From Nature?
Human detachment from natural surroundings isn’t a recent problem occurring in society all around the world. It is actually a progressing issue that has become more and more noticeable over the last 70+ years.
While there are numerous studies that have determined our connection to the natural environment is crucial to overall health and well-being, we still tend to steer clear of the outdoors as much as possible.
Kids no longer have to use their imaginations outdoors to create a wonderland to play in with all their friends because that is being done for them online and on gaming consoles. Instead of exploring nurture and building forts, children are sliding through social media and downloading the latest apps.
Adults welcome these “screen babysitters” to get through their busy task-filled days, where they have no time to spare to acknowledge the beauty and simplicity of our planet.
The new social norm is based on advanced technology. It caters to the generations of instant gratification, putting the importance of nature on the back burner or, even worse, excluding it altogether.
Recent studies have shown that many people develop an interest in the great outdoors in their childhood and the importance it holds depends on the exposure they receive at a young age. When parents are too busy to teach their kids what the world has to offer, those children are more likely to grow up without interest to share it with their children.
As the media continues to remove nature from center stage, people are less inclined to even consider putting it on their agenda. This is a disastrous movement for humans as a whole and for the universe.
6 Easy Ways to Connect With Nature
We are all busy these days, life is stressful and demanding, but there is always a way to fit a few minutes enjoying a walk, bird spotting with friends, or walking the beach with your partner, giving yourself a chance to breathe fresh air and feel the earth under your feet.
While we may not have the chance to power down for good, we can at least disconnect with the chaotic world around us to reconnect with the earth that surrounds us for a few moments. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are six of our favorite ways to connect with nature.
1. Go For A Walk or Hike in Nature
One of the most popular ways to throw yourself into all the amazing things the earth has to offer is by going for a nice long walk or hike. While doing this on a trail deep in the woods is ideal for some, it doesn’t have to be accomplished that way.
Take a half-hour lunch break walking through the local park or spend a day hiking a nature preserve. It doesn’t matter where you go; what matters is what you get out of it while you are there.
Taking a silent walk has a fantastic effect on your senses, self-awareness, and awareness of everything around you.
2. Lay in The Grass And Watch The Clouds Roll By
Have you ever tried laying in the grass surrounded by flowers, dandelions, sticks, and butterflies, looking up at the clouds, and trying to make out a specific shape or object?
While this may seem insignificant to some, this is a great exercise for your mind, body, and soul. Laying in that grass, soaking in the sun, feeling the earth beneath your body will quickly relax your muscles and put you at ease.
Staring at the clouds trying to form a picture out of nothing but a white puff of vapor helps with cognitive function, problem-solving, and focus.
3. Dance in the Rain
Instead of avoiding the rain, celebrate it. The next time it starts to sprinkle outside, get out there and dance. Feel the tiny drops cool your skin, wet your hair, and form mud between your toes. Relish in the pureness and innocence that comes from letting your daily tasks go for just a few moments to enjoy splashing in puddles and getting your face wet.
Can you remember the pure joy of childhood when you would puddle jump after a soaking thunderstorm? There were no worries about dirty clothes or muddy shoes; you were carefree, enjoying life, and even more so, enjoying that moment. That one small, relaxing moment where the earth provided you time to simply be free.
It is time for you to take that moment back every now and again. Let your inner child out, put the phone away and simply dance in the rain.
4. Meditate Outdoors
Now, we are combining two great ways to relax and improve our health in one moment, and this moment can truly change your life if you stay consistent and really take it in.
What do you imagine when you think about meditation? Even if you have never done it before, what is the first thing that comes to mind? You probably automatically think of calm, peace, tranquility, right?
Meditation is not only about obtaining peace but also mental clarity, improved brain functioning, better sleep, and so much more.
All of the benefits of meditation will only become more enhanced if the practice is done outdoors.
To get yourself into a deeper state of meditation, you will have the aid of the wind blowing, the crickets chirping, animals scurrying, and all the other natural and soothing sounds the earth provides.
5. Sleep Under the Stars
There is no reason you have to limit yourself to the daylight hours to take advantage of all the benefits of becoming one with nature. Take a moment to open yourself up to a quieter darker world and try sleeping under the stars.
Engage in stargazing and use this time to take a peek into the universe above. Explore all that is out there after the sun goes down.
Acknowledge the beauty of the shadows around you, cast by the light of the moon, or the sounds around you that are much different than those you normally hear when walking the same paths during the day.
Open your mind to consider all the living creatures roaming the world, ones we have seen, and maybe some we have yet to discover.
6. Bring the Outside, In
A simple way to connect to the world around you is by bringing that world into your home. Surround yourself with house plants, craft home decor items from driftwood, or rescue some fish from the pet store and set up an amazing aquarium that you can enjoy every time you walk into the room.
When you go for walks, you can try collecting unique rocks, shells from the beach, or other items you can place in a keepsake box having the ability to hold on to gifts that have been given to you by the earth itself. Hold these items when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed and allow their natural essences to embark upon you.
If you would prefer something that wasn’t once in the soil or requires daily maintenance, you could always have a mural of a forest or trees painted on the walls.
A great way to help understand the benefits of what you do each day, take notes of the experience. Write down how you felt while rolling down that grassy hill, jot a little blurb in your journal about the emotions you experienced while twirling in the rain, and write yourself a reminder of the wish you made when you saw that shooting star.
Writing your feelings down is a great way to acknowledge those feelings, as well as having a way to look back on all the reasons you enjoyed being outdoors, encouraging yourself to do it again and again.
Advantages of Connecting With Nature
In a world full of technology, people have slowly lost their way, their purpose, their meaning. We now think of nature as an inconvenience instead of a blessing. We separate ourselves from the earth instead of allowing ourselves to become one with it.
Rain has become a nuisance as we walk from one destination to the next, fearing that the water will ruin our electronics. Instead, we should be thanking the earth for the water it is providing the crops we eat, hydration for the animals we care for, and homes for the fish we harvest.
The sun is no longer seen as natural warmth, or the light used for plants to thrive, or a natural clock and compass to base our day around. Now people complain about how hot it is and prefer to sit inside with air conditioners, fans, and video games.
Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in the modern way of living that we forget who we are and how we got here. Taking time each day or week to connect with nature can help you learn to relax more, rely on technology less, and return to your natural roots.
If you need a reminder as to why connecting with nature is so important, here are a few facts to consider.
Heighten Senses and Awareness
Stepping away from the phones and screens and taking a walk into the woods is a great way to regain all of your natural senses. You can enjoy the scenery and watch for plants, birds, snakes, etc., giving your eyes a chance to really see beauty in its most genuine forms. You can start to extend your hearing, listening to the water in the creek flowing and splashing as it rushes past the rocks at the bottom.
Once you are in tune with the world around you, you have a better chance of feeling whole and having better control of your body and your awareness.
Improves Your Health
Connecting with nature is a great way to improve your health mentally and physically. Besides all of the obvious benefits of going out on a walk, there are many other advantages associated with being outside all on its own.
The vitamin D from soaking in the sun, the improved respiratory function from inhaling clean, fresh air, and the stress relief provided by putting down your device and enjoying all the simple things in life are all true benefits from connecting with nature.
Finding Internal Peace and Happiness
There is no better way to find peace with yourself or to do a little soul searching than being outside on your own, with nothing but the sound of swaying trees and birds chirping.
Having this time to reflect can help you make better decisions, reduce stress, and allow you to clear your head. Many times people will realize the problems they have been losing sleep over really aren’t that big of an issue after all, and all it took was a few moments to think clearly, process the situation, and evaluate it.
While we could go on for days discussing the advantages of connecting with nature, it is pretty safe to assume you have gotten the point, and instead of boring you with tons of information, we can sum it all up with this simple fact. Being one with nature is so important because we are a big part of nature. We were not born in huge houses with televisions, delivered meals, and ADT.
When the human race began, we relied on the earth to take care of us, nurture us, and protect us. It is time to remember what the earth has done for us and take some time to thank nature, to communicate with nature, and to pick up where we all left off.