The Wellness Benefits of Nature and How to Cultivate Your Connection to the Outdoors

There is a steep increase in the amount of time we are finding ourselves indoors the past few years. This indoor time has brought the importance of nature for our wellness into sharp focus. Connecting with nature, it appears, offers numerous health benefits. These benefits are not merely physical, they also extend to our mental well-being.

When we talk about the physical benefits of nature, a few key points come to mind:

  1. Spending time outdoors has been linked to lower blood pressure. This can have a significant effect on our overall health, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. 
  2. Furthermore, being in nature can improve our immune system response, making us more resilient to illness. 
  3. Lastly, exposure to sunlight can lead to increased levels of Vitamin D in our bodies, a nutrient crucial for bone health and immune system function.

The mental benefits of nature are just as signifigant:

  1. Nature can act as a stress relief valve, allowing us to escape from the pressures of daily life. 
  2. It can improve our mood, lifting our spirits and bringing joy into our lives. 
  3. Additionally, time spent in natural environments has been shown to enhance cognitive function, improving our memory and attention span.

Given these benefits, the question arises: how do we cultivate our connection with nature? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Spend Time Outside: This may seem obvious, but it is the most direct way to connect with nature. Take a walk in the park, go for a hike in the woods, or just sit in a peaceful green space. The key is to take the time to observe and appreciate the natural world around you.
  2. Bring Nature Indoors: For those times when you can’t go outside, consider bringing nature to you. Indoor plants not only improve air quality but can also provide a touch of nature to your living or workspace. Watching these plants grow and thrive can be a rewarding and calming experience.
  3. Nature Meditation: This involves closing your eyes and visualizing a peaceful natural setting. Imagine feeling the sun on your skin, the breeze in your hair, and the earth beneath your feet. By doing this, you can experience the calming effects of nature, no matter where you are.
  4. Nature Journaling: Keeping a nature journal can help you to notice and appreciate the natural world around you. Write about the plants, animals, and landscapes you observe. This can help you to feel more connected to the natural world and foster a sense of appreciation for its beauty and complexity.
  5. Volunteer for Nature Conservation: Participating in nature conservation efforts is a powerful way to feel more connected to the natural world. Whether it’s helping to clean a beach, plant trees, or protect wildlife, these activities can give you a sense of purpose and connection

Remember, the goal is not just to be in nature, but to be aware of and connected to it. So take your time, slow down, and truly experience the natural world. Your body and mind will thank you for this connection with nature. It will reward you with a sense of peace, improved health, and a deeper appreciation for the world around you.

Download a copy of this weeks journal prompts below:

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