by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 17th December, 2018
These days, we're looking for more and more ways to relieve stress and get back to our more natural roots. While many use medications, meditation and therapy, there is another helpful method worth adding to the mix. There's nothing quite like getting back to the place we originated from, in returning to nature.
This can be as simple as having lunch in a park, or may include something more intense like backpacking or camping for days or weeks. Nature can offer the ability to heal, escape and enjoy a world much larger than ourselves. Let's take a look at why it's worth spending a little more time connecting with nature.
While it may have been so long ago, at some point in the lives of humans, nature was our home. There was no plumbing, heating or other comforts that we have today, but there was also less of the stress that we can deal with on a day-to-day basis. Most of the time, stress was due to the very real presence of danger, rather than worries about bills or other conventions we have today.
Because of that, there can be something so comforting about stepping back into the natural world. In addition, we are lucky enough to often be able to make the venture into nature without the worry of being attacked by wild animals, as that is a pretty rare occurrence.
Out in nature, you can leave behind the sounds of people, the crowded streets, the sounds of cars (and the rage of drivers). You can instead take a moment to listen to the quiet, more peaceful sounds of nature. Listening to the singing of birds and crickets can be much more enjoyable by comparison.
Nature gives us a place to really leave behind all the hustle and relax, even for just a few minutes. Consequently, it's worth getting out from time to time just to separate yourself from all the stressful sounds that can accumulate in our daily lives.
When you step into nature, surrounded by tall trees, under a vast sky, you can be reminded of just how small we are by comparison. As a result, it can truly be a humbling experience that helps us to remember that in the grand scheme of things, are problems may not be as huge as they feel.
We can really come out of such an experience feeling like we can tackle something that may have felt overwhelming prior to it. It's really a wonderful way to shift things into a perspective that makes it easier for you to handle.
It can be a fantastically healthy thing for us to spend a little time outside of the bubble of our day-to-day lives. For just a short period of time, we can forget about all of the responsibilities, worries and other annoying aspects of regular life and just enjoy the peace of feeling so far away from all of it.
In addition, many don't often have to go far to find enough nature to feel like they are hundreds of miles away. You can also choose to stay out there as long as you can, or as long as you need to, in order to get all of the natural healing you need.
We all need a break from time to time, and getting out into nature can be a great way to accomplish that. It's a new environment that takes you out of the thought processes that may come with being in your office, home or other areas you frequent.
When you're camping or hiking, it can be much easier to take things one step at a time and think about what's in front of you. This is something we can often forget to do on a daily basis, because we're so busy trying to plan for the future.
As a result, you can start to feel more motivated to protect our world as it is, and to learn the best ways to do that. It doesn't always have to be a large endeavor, but things like recycling, using re-usable grocery bags and other small changes can end up making a huge difference.
There can be so much stress in our daily lives, and sometimes we really need an escape to bring back our sanity. The great thing about nature is you can go out to spend just a few minutes in it, and that can help immensely.
Just being in a different space, enjoying some peace and quiet, can be soothing and bring a sense of calm to those who might be feeling the stress. In many cultures, we can see the an escape into nature can offer healing to the minds of those who need it, so it's worth trying out!
Alongside those healing abilities, we can really get a boost to our mental health from nature. The restorative properties can mean that those who choose to get their exercise in nature can feel more relieved than those who tend to exercise in an urban space, or indoors.
For those who are frustrated, anxious or depressed, nature can provide a soothing salve to our mental state, leaving you feeling much better than you might through other methods. So the next time you're getting in a walk or jog to relieve some mental or emotional distress, try doing it in nature!
Nature can be a fantastic place for bonding with friends and family in a way that is apart from the norm. While we can all have fun gaming, texting or watching TV together, it can be a nice respite to spend a little time together admiring nature or sitting around a campfire.
Having some time away from the distractions of everyday life can give you time to talk and enjoy the things that really matter in life. Consequently, it can really bring people together in a way they might not experience normally. It can be a really meaningful experience overall.
In nature, there are no bills, no taxes and no social conventions. While humans are, at their core, social creatures, we can also have times when we just need to get away from the trappings of human socialization. There are so many expectations, and for some simply being social can be a drain.
In nature, there is much less worry about those things. If you are spending time in nature alone, you don't have to say a single word if you don't want to. You can simply enjoy the peace, admire your surroundings and forget the need for socialization for a short while.
There are few more humbling things than looking up at the tall trees, or out across a landscape and realizing that you are in just one region, perhaps in one state or province, in one country out of many, and so on. There is so much out there in the world that we can forget about so easily!
Spending a little time outdoors can help to stimulate a sense of wonder and adventure, reminding us of all there is to explore in both near and far off areas. We may even be reminded of how much we'd like to discover some of those areas for ourselves.
Some aren't as interested in camping or hiking because it can be a rough, cold or dirty experience. However, sometimes we need a little bit of that in order to appreciate the comfort in our lives more. In addition, listening to the sounds of a thunderstorm with only thin canvas between you and the power of nature can make for some great memories!
There are experiences you can have when you're "roughing it" that you just can't get in a hotel, or even an RV. It's worth experiencing at least once in your life!
Overall, nature is just a wonderful place to be. It's calming, peaceful, and interesting to see what kinds of plants and animals you can find while you're exploring. Furthermore, it can really take us back to days when we used to be much more in touch with the world around us.
These days, we have to make more of a concentrated effort to get outside of the bounds of urban life, but it's well worth the expense. Spending time in nature can leave us feeling calmer, more capable and filled with a much greater zest for life.