How Can Nature Help You?

Have you gotten your dose of nature this week?

The benefits of being outdoors are so many, but us city-dwellers tend to spend most of our time in the office, in the car, at home, rarely venturing off the beaten path and into the woods.

In fact, a 2009 report from the Environmental Protection Agency showed that the average American spends 90% of their time indoors!

You may not feel the effects of being “nature deficient” because they have slowly become a way of life, but they are there.

According to an article in mindful magazine, current research is showing the cost of our nature deficit, and the converse as well — that reconnecting with nature makes us healthier and happier.

A Japanese study showed that a walk in the forest — stimulating the senses of smell, hearing, and touch while under a leafy, green canopy — increases positive feelings, boosts the immune system, and lowers blood pressure.

All effects of turning off the stress response and feeling relaxation — simply by being out in nature!

There is an aspect of each of us that resonates with the stillness found in nature.

We ARE this stillness. When we return to nature, we allow ourselves to return to our innermost self.

And it doesn’t take a weeklong trip to Yosemite to receive the effects of being in nature.

A few hours at a secluded park will do it. Your nearest hiking trail. 20 minutes tending your garden.

No garden? Even a walk in your front grass, while taking in the clouds and trees and birds and bugs all around offers a much needed break from our conditioned urbanization.

Let nature guide you to your true nature. Relaxation is waiting.

Stress Release Tip

Make your trips into nature a regular thing. A weekly or daily practice. And each time you’re there, notice something different. Explore with a childlike curiosity. As you get back into the groove of being in moment, you will relax more each time.

Mindful Homework

When you get out there, in nature, see how much you can let go of your thoughts. If thoughts of your daily responsibilities creep in, just take a breath and re-center yourself in the moment. Feel the warmth of the sun, notice the smells, hear the birds tweeting, the wind rustling through the leaves. Come back to this center point every time you drift from the here and now. Notice the thoughts that take you away, then tune back in.

Quote From Adam

“Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness.”
– Eckhart Tolle, “Stillness Speaks”

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