Have you ever heard of the power of nature? Have you ever wondered what the power of nature actually means?
Do you ever go for a walk, or do you like to hike? Have you ever had a picnic in the park, with your blanket spread out on the ground? Have you ever just laid in the grass, looking up at the clouds? Have you ever hugged a tree?
The power of nature lies in all of these activities. By spending time in nature, you can not only reduce stress, but you can increase your happiness, your energy level, and your overall physical wellbeing. Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
It’s so very simple to gain the power of nature. A great way to start is by grounding yourself.
Let’s Get Grounded
Modern society has disconnected us from nature in so many ways. We work in an office; we sit on a couch or chair at home watching television. Even when we do enjoy outdoor activities, we wear our hiking boots or running shoes. Even though we may be surrounded by nature, we can still be insulated from all of its benefits.
Traditional plastic or rubber-soled shoes are made for comfort, but they insulate us from the healing energy that comes from the earth’s surface.
Native American custom was to walk barefoot or to wear moccasins. They viewed the Earth as a sacred source of energy and strength. In order to promote their good health, they got this right.
Research has shown that walking barefoot can reduce or prevent inflammation, it can heal wounds quicker, and it improves sleep.
All of these are great reasons to ditch those rubber-soled shoes and take a barefoot stroll. Taking a barefoot stroll isn’t the only way to connect with nature though.
Hug A Tree
Trees have many benefits in our world today. They provide habitat for wildlife, and wood and by-products for humans. They provide shade and cooling in the summertime, and they help clean the air by reducing greenhouse gases.
A tree also holds the power of nature in it, and there can be great benefit to hugging a tree. Hugging a tree increases your level of oxytocin, which is a hormone responsible for feeling calm.
There is a National Hug A Tree day that is celebrated on April 15th. If you missed that, there is also National Love a Tree Day which is celebrated on May 16th. You can always show a tree some love by giving it a hug.
If you’re worried about splinters in your face, you can also press your back up against a tree, and feel nature’s energy engulf you.
Certain cultures place great significance in the forest or in the trees. The Japanese practice Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. This involves taking in the atmosphere of the forest in order to recharge the soul.
The Buddhists have a precept called “interbeing”; the underlying interrelatedness of all life — that everything is connected. With trees, they breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.
Humans and trees benefit one another by replenishing each other’s breath — we are the breath of life to one another, and that’s pretty awesome.
Get Out of The House
What if you’ve lived in the city your entire life, and never experienced nature at its finest? You don’t want to walk barefoot in the concrete jungle for fear you will step on something that could cost you more than just a cut or splinter. The only trees are few and far between and you’d feel silly giving the tree a hug.
If this is you, then simply start by getting out of the house. Find your nearest park. If you can, go for a drive and get away from the city and as close to nature as you can. Then go for a walk, or simply find a nice place to sit down.
Take in everything you see, everything that you hear, and everything that you feel. Listen to the birds, and how many different chirps, songs and screeches that you hear. Look around for the birds that are sounding off.
If you’re at a park, watch the children play. Reminisce about what it was like when you were young. What was your favorite playground activity? Just watch people in general; you’d be surprised at what you can learn.
Take in the fresh air, enjoy the sunshine on your face. Get as close to nature as you can, or as you feel comfortable with. If you can sit on the ground, that’s a bonus. And if you can get away from it all to be all alone with nature, press your back up against a tree. Stay there for a while; connect with nature.
Nature Is Everywhere
You don’t have to go to a forest or park, or hug a tree to experience nature. Nature is all around us. Do you live in an area with no trees or much life of any kind around you? Then sit outside in the evening and look up at the sky. See how many constellations you can recognize or find.
Do you live in the city and can’t see the stars beyond the city lights? Then buy some plants to liven up your living space. Not only will it lift your mood, but it will benefit the air you breathe inside as well.
Are you afraid that you’ll kill any living plant that you own? Buy some quality fake plants for your living space. They may not benefit the air, but they still brighten your mood. And just because you’ve never been able to keep a plant alive in the past, don’t give up. Years ago, I was guaranteed to kill any plant that I had. Now I have so many plants in the house that I share them with others.
Embrace the Power of Nature
A 2006 study showed that the health of every single bodily system increased with the amount of greenspace in ones living environment. Whether one lived in the city or country, or whether they were young or old, a person’s percentage of green space in their living environment showed a positive association with their perceived general health.
People weren’t built to sit inside all day under artificial light with concrete structures all around. I know many people have no choice as that is how they have to make a living. But it doesn’t mean that they have to come home plop down on the couch and sit in front of the tv all night.
Stop by the park on the way home if you have a chance. Take a Sunday drive out to the country. Spend a weekend at the beach where you’ll want to take your shoes off and walk along the water’s edge.
Man (and woman) was made to interact with nature. From the breeze that softly blows your hair, the sunshine that warms you face, and the incredible energy that flows through your body as you hug a tree, the power of nature is good for the body and soul.