Hiking, walking through a park, camping, sitting under a tree, looking out a window at the view of a garden and even adding more plants to your home can all help you to rejuvenate your body and mind. Today I wanted to put a very big punctuation mark on the healing power of nature by sharing five reasons that even science confirms that nature can de-stress, aid in physical well-being and perhaps help you sleep better!
1. Wood element energy helps you make changes! In feng shui and traditional chines medicine, the element of wood is that of creativity, flexibility and growing. While even the color green and wood materials in a home can amplify this energy, the life force energy of growing plants and trees are even more powerful in this “change-making” regard!
2. Great physical healing therapy. Even if you consider yourself a “city person” rather than a country type, nature be therapeutic for you mind and body in its rhythms. An article by Adam Alter in The Atlantic, How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies, expands on the therapeutic power of nature, even if you “love” cities and urban life:
Nature restores mental functioning in the same way that food and water restore bodies. The business of everyday life — dodging traffic, making decisions and judgment calls, interacting with strangers — is depleting, and what man-made environments take away from us, nature gives back. There’s something mystical and, you might say, unscientific about this claim, but its heart actually rests in what psychologists call attention restoration theory, or ART. According to ART, urban environments are draining because they force us to direct our attention to specific tasks (e.g., avoiding the onslaught of traffic) and grab our attention dynamically, compelling us to “look here!” before telling us to instead “look over there!” These demands are draining — and they’re also absent in natural environments. Forests, streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans demand very little from us, though they’re still engaging, ever changing, and attention-grabbing. The difference between natural and urban landscapes is how they command our attention. While man-made landscapes bombard us with stimulation, their natural counterparts give us the chance to think as much or as little as we’d like, and the opportunity to replenish exhausted mental resources.
3. Stress much less! If you need to de-stress, sitting on a park bench street may be more poignant than you thought. Jill Richardson’s article on the healing power of nature on Alternet included this very illuminating study:
Because of our bodies’ physical response to stress, it’s easy to measure stress objectively simply by testing saliva samples for stress hormones. A 2013 study did just this, testing saliva sampled before and after study participants sat in various settings (natural and urban) for 20 minutes. They found evidence that spending time in a natural environment reduces stress.
4. Reconnect to our true nature and Sacred Geometry. We are geometrically linked to nature. Our cell formation- even as embryos- mirrors the geometry of leaves in trees, the structure of crystals and more of nature. We are a mirror of nature, and in pure nature we can tap into that mirrored resonance- our true nature. HERE is a TED Talk about this sacred geometric link we have to the Earth. It is stunning.
5. Sleep Better. Studies have shown that a camping trip can “reset” our biological clock. To take this a step further, keeping the lights minimal in your home as the sun goes down can help you to wind down when the sun sets. Leaving your bedroom windows upon will help you to rise with the sun. That is a powerful natural rhythm to keep in your life if you can!
This is only a tiny bit of the compelling data that suggests nature as a therapeutic agent for a thriving and mindful life. While I spend a good deal of time outside, I realize just in writing this that I could use more time up close with trees and views! Can you think of a way to put yourself in nature more prominently?
Nature is not a luxury- its our most cosmic necessity. Lets respect the Earth and build stronger bonds with our planet and its energetic richness! xoxo Dana
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