Reconnecting With Nature for the Body, Mind, and Soul
You know that feeling you get when you’re well taken care of? You’re happy and positive. Your mind is clear. You’re physically well and emotionally stable. You’re holistically healthy and your life reflects that.
We should always be looking for ways to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls to consistently experience the above. One of the simplest ways to do this? Immersing yourself in nature.
Let’s explore some of the most noteworthy benefits of reconnecting with nature and spending time outdoors.
The Benefits of Reconnecting With Nature
Nature can be a cure for many things. Need to clear your mind? Take a walk through the park. Need to get some exercise? Go on a hike. Reconnecting with nature is good for the mind, body, and soul. Let’s explore how in more detail below.
Improve your mental health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.”
Whether it’s anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, or another mental health condition, the symptoms of each particular mental health challenge can be debilitating, disrupting one’s quality of life and happiness.
Thankfully, the increased conversation around mental health has led to many solutions for relief like accessible therapy options and safe medicines. Exposure to nature is also linked to various mental health benefits including:
- Lower stress
- Better mood
- Decreased fatigue
- Better cognitive function
- Improved working memory
- Reduced anxiety and depression
The connection between exposure to nature and improved mental health is so apparent, in fact, that doctors are prescribing time in nature as treatments for various mental and physical health conditions, like anxiety, depression, and obesity. Doctors recommend the activity, where to do it, how long to do it, and how often. Although nature prescriptions are still in their infancy, many patients report favorable results.
Reconnecting with nature is a proven pathway to a stronger, healthier mind.
Boost your mood
There is something incredibly uplifting about being one with nature. It could be the fresh air. It could be the Vitamin D. It could be the birds chirping and the other animals enjoying their natural habitat. It could be the people you’re enjoying nature with.
Exposure to nature absolutely boosts your mood and feeds your soul. There’s a beautiful natural world out there and immersing yourself in it can help you feel beautiful too.
Improve your relationship with yourself
Many people partake in self-reflection when reconnecting with nature. Whether you’re camping, hiking, swimming in the ocean, or taking a nature walk, it’s a perfect time to think about the present, how far you’ve come in your life, and where you want to go in the future.
Self-reflection is a critical element in improving your relationship with yourself. You become more accepting of who you are and have a blueprint for where you want to go.
Get much-needed Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium and protect it from osteoporosis. If you want to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth, you need vitamin D to do it.
Direct sunlight on the skin helps the body to produce vitamin D. Being outdoors gives you a good amount of sunlight exposure, thus inciting the creation of vitamin D. But it’s important not to get excessive sun exposure as this can lead to dangerous conditions like skin cancer.
How to Reconnect With Nature Sustainably
There are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in nature and develop a long-lasting relationship with it. But oddly enough, some ways are more sustainable than others.
For example, many people participate in animal interactions like petting and feeding experiences. But to have these experiences, many animals are subject to abuse and live in places that are hardly sanctuaries, practices that are counterproductive to taking good care of the environment and the species in it.
Instead of doing activities like this, reconnect with nature sustainably by doing the following:
Engage in eco-friendly outdoor activities
Fortunately, there are many more outdoor activities to partake in other than engaging in unsafe or inhumane animal interactions. Now, don’t get us wrong. You can safely engage with animals outdoors by observing them in their natural habitat. But just observing.
In addition, there are a whole host of eco-friendly outdoor activities to explore. The following activities are great for sustainably engaging with your environment:
- Bird watching
- Sustainable gardening
- Identifying wildflower and plant species
- Participating in community conservation projects
Bird watching and identifying wildflower and plant species can easily be done in your backyard or nearby park. The other activities will require a bit of planning ahead of time.
For example, if you want to go on a camping trip, you must figure out the best time to go, who’s coming with you, and where you want to camp. You’ll also need to pack efficiently and ensure your transportation is ready for the trip. When planned well, camping is a great outdoor activity for the whole family.
Or, let’s say you want to start a garden. You’ll need to learn the basics of sustainable gardening, like how to choose plants and prepare areas to plant them. You also need to plan your gardening approach for each season.
There are a range of eco-friendly outdoor activities available to help you reconnect with nature. Ask family and friends for location suggestions. You can also use social media to discover nearby areas to explore nature and nature-related events.
Elevate your mind, body, and soul by reconnecting with nature and making it a core part of your day-to-day. You could be a hike away from improving your mental health, getting much-needed vitamin D, a boosted mood, and a better relationship with yourself.
Keep in mind that reconnecting with nature must be intentional. Otherwise, you’re at risk of participating in nature-related activities that are actually harmful to the environment. Start with the eco-friendly outdoor activities above to ensure you’re reconnecting with nature sustainably.