I am a firm believer in the healing power of nature. I have always loved being in nature, even from a little girl. Growing up on a farm meant endless adventures with my brother, exploring all that we could.
From mud fights in the dam, to building forts in the pine forest, to family walks up the mountain. All of these experiences, and many more, became the foundation of my love for nature.
The term “biophilia” means “love of life or living systems.” It was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. Wilson uses the term in the same sense when he suggests that biophilia describes “the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.” He proposed the possibility that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology.
Unlike phobias, which are the aversions and fears that people have of things in their environment, philias are the attractions and positive feelings that people have toward organisms, species, habitats, processes and objects in their natural surroundings. Source
How Can Nature Help You
I’m sure you’ve all heard someone at some stage recommend a walk for helping to clear a busy mind. Well I hands-down can agree that a healthy prescription of a long walk in nature is the perfect way to re-calibrate and help tone down a busy mind.
I find that most of my inspiring thoughts and ideas come to me when I’m out, walking in nature.Maybe be it has something to do with the rush of endorphins, the fresh air, the grounding and the sunlight. What ever it is it totally works! Here are a few other ways nature can help you.
- A walk in nature can be meditative – Generally the crazy clatter in our minds tends to tone down, as we concentrate on the foot path in front of us, or the hill we’re about to climb. This act of mindfulness isn’t hard and almost comes through effortlessly. You’re being present, in the moment and have your focus set on one (or a few) particular points. This is kind of like meditation – but maybe more of an active meditation – if there is such thing.
- Nature can diminish a bad mood – Often I’ve reverted to a walk – or just getting out in the open when I’m feeling irritated/annoyed/or in a bad mood. And for the majority of the time, it only takes a few minutes for me to feel better. Often I’ll reflect on the situation that’s making me feel the way I’m feeling, and this different perspective is sometimes all I need to set my mind straight. The next time you’re in a bad mood – take a walk and see how quickly you’ll feel better.
- Gets my brain working – If I’m working on something particularly tricky and need some brain power, I find a walk or even a run can help get my brain cells working. Again, the combination of endorphins, fresh air, earthing and sunlight may just be the perfect combination to get your brain working!
- Help you to feel connected – If you think about it, how often are you out and about, outside, with your shoes off and feet on the ground. I’d say, not as much as you did when you were young. The simple act of taking your shoes off, in nature, feeling the earth beneath your feet, is the perfect solution if you’ve been feeling distant or disconnected. Knowing that mother earth, is always there, a constant source of connection, and it just takes a little contact grounding to help feel her energy. When I’m out walking, I like to veer off the path, and find a secluded spot, take my shoes off or even just lie down. Feeling the cool earth beneath me is so comforting, knowing that I am fully supported by the earth at all times.
- Nature helps fuel my gratitude – Taking a moment to pause, look around, and see all the beauty that surrounds me, fuels my gratitude and love for life. Nature is freaking amazing! From the tiniest leaf to the tallest tree, her force is incredible and truly magical. I urge you to take your mind off the mundane things in life, if only for a few moments. Place yourself in nature and absorb all the beauty that she offers. The world is changing, and I think we all need to be mindful of that. We need to relish in the magic of nature as much as we can, if only for our sanity.
Pictures were taken at The Grove Scenic Reserve in Takaka. A magical spot!