You know what they say — nature is medicine.
During challenging times, when you step outside to fill your lungs with a deep breath of fresh, earthy air, that biggest exhale of the day allows for release into the presence and perfection of the natural world around you.
There are countless benefits to immersing ourselves in nature, and these benefits are so much more than physical — nature affects our minds and hearts, too! There are many emerging fields and studies that explore how we innately interact with nature, and how nature interacts with us in response. Recent studies have shown that even spending 25 minutes in nature can improve mood, reduce stress, and improve memory function.
If you desire to heal your body, mind, and heart through connection with nature, here are a few practices to try out:
1. Connect With Earth
Sit or lay down on the Earth. Run your hands through the grass, sand, or soil. Spending time connecting to your surroundings promotes internal healing.
2. Ground Yourself
Walk barefoot on soil or grass. (This has so many science-backed benefits!!) Check-in on each of your 5 senses. Slow down and focus on what you feel beneath you.
3. Flow With Water
Spend time bathing in a natural water source - a pond, river, or ocean. Feel the motion or stillness of the water around you. Let it guide your thoughts.
4. Commune In Nature
Choose an element (air, water, fire, earth) and spend time communing with it in nature. Allow yourself to explore your inner thoughts and feelings.
5. Silence & Stillness
Try to be entirely silent and still in nature for several minutes. Tune your senses into the orchestra of natural sounds, smells, and sights around you.
Let yourself wander in nature and be energetically drawn in a certain direction. Mindfully notice where the energy takes you and what your intuition calls you to do here. Allow your inner wisdom to be the guide for your exploration.
7. Be Mindful
Pick a place in nature that feels symbolic or metaphorical related to something happening in your life. For example, noticing a waterfall that resembles the release of emotions or the flexibility of a tree branch is symbolic of your mental flexibility around a certain topic. Notice the parallels and meanings that arise for you and any insights that emerge as you pay mindful attention to this place and the metaphors of nature within it.
These practices are just a start to begin to tune in to the calming and rejuvenating impact nature has on our well-being. What other ways do you enjoy connecting with nature? Let this list grow as you watch your connection to Mother Earth blossom.