Ah, nature. I hope you had a chance to get outside yesterday and celebrate Earth Day in some way. I kind of nerd out over Earth Day and feel the feels when I think about how important it is to take care of this spinning blue dot we call home.
And so I would like to devote this post to reiterate why it’s so important for our health and well-being to connect with nature on a regular basis.
First of all, Real Talk About Mama Earth
As an advanced species that has come to assume we can get whatever we want, whenever we want, we forget that all that we have depends on the health of the planet and its various ecosystems.
But really, all of the time and energy and resources we have used to build our world could be destroyed by good ‘ol Mother Earth at any moment. Just ask the dinosaurs, am I right?
She is a loving, but fierce mama, which is why it is vital to live in accordance with nature instead of forcing it to fit our needs.
So, how do we do that?
My Earth Day post last year talks more about ways to make connecting with nature a part of your daily life. That would be a good place to start, but the gist of it is to notice. Notice the seasons, where your food comes from, what products you use, and get as close to the natural world as you can. Get outside daily and really take it in.
But why is this important?
It’s important because we are nature, too. And when we use our technology and other advancements to disconnect with where we came from instead of connect, that is when dis-ease happens. And if you haven’t felt that in your own life, there have been many studies in recent years to prove it.
This New York Times article talks about the Japanese “forest bathing” method of immersing yourself in nature. Scientists found that being among plants produced lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, and many more benefits.
There’s also an entire form of therapy called Ecotherapy that “stems from the belief that people are part of the web of life and that our psyches are not isolated or separate from our environment.” This article shares more about that and all of the studies done around this philosophy, in case you are interested.
And here’s an article from The Atlantic talking about how doctors are now prescribing time in the outdoors. How neat is that!
As much as I love these new therapies and studies around the importance of nature in our lives, I do find it sad that these therapies even need to exist.
The fact that they do is a sign that we are forgetting where we came from. We are disconnecting from the pure resources that feed our bellies and build our material world.
We have habitualized our lives in such a way that makes it incredibly challenging to be a part of the natural rhythms and have nature be a normal part of our everyday lives.
Tree-hugger or not, this connection is incredibly important to our health and our quality of life. So I invite you to really think about your relationship with nature. How much time do you actually spend connecting with it? What are some simple ways you can be more intentional with bringing it into your life?
Right after you read this, put down whatever device you are reading this on. Put on whatever clothes necessary and go outside. Take a deep breath. Walk around the block. And just see how it changes your mood and energy. You might be surprised at what a little nature can do.