The Healing Power of Nature - 5 Ways to Optimize your Health Naturally
Do you feel tired, lethargic, stressed out, or somehow disconnected?
A walk in the forest might be your prefect solution.
Regarded by many cultures as the ultimate healer, humans have a vast history of turning towards nature for solutions, and for good reason! Nature is a powerful source of healing energies, herbal remedies, filtered air and water- mother earth is really what keeps us alive. In a world of social media, political drama and technology, it’s easy to feel tired, disconnected and stressed out!
Even if you eat the cleanest diet and exercise daily, connecting with our mother nature is crucial for our optimal health. Here are some amazing things she provides for us.
HEALING BENEFITS OF NATURE
Staying inside, and sitting at a desk under florescent lighting all day can make you feel drained (because it actually does drain you)! Millions of years of evolution didn’t happen to allow humans to feel fulfilled when they are stagnant and blasted with unnatural light!
As soon as sunlight touches the retina of your eyes, you feel serotonin flush your brain. Serotonin is a powerful neurotransmitter, triggered by sunlight hitting the retina of our eyes and is found to be responsible for wakefulness and alertness and our ability to feel happiness.
We also benefit from the proteins in our skin reacting with the sunrays to produce vitamin D, a vitamin the majority of the world is deficient in.
#2 PURE AIR
Take a deep breath right now. Are you inside? Does it feel stuffy or hard to breathe? Step into a forest and compare, nothing beats the filtered oxygen from trees.
Not only does it allow your body to relax and breathe deeper, on a physiological level, just being in nature has been shown to lower cortisol (a stress hormone) and stress in general.
Are you in pain right now? Achy joints or that shoulder tension that doesn't ever seem to go away? There’s a trend that’s thriving right now called ‘earthing', where the whole premise has everything to do with negative ions absorbed from the earth.
Some Ions are harmful to humans (such as those from the atmosphere) and some are healing (such as the negative ions from the earth). Negative ions are abundant on the earths surface and have been studied to promote good feelings, and decrease inflammation in the body (the thing that causes practically every issue in humans).
One study found that “free or mobile electrons from the earth can resolve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants” So next time you’re walking, take off your shoes. Walking barefoot not only allows you to absorb those ions, it can also help align your spine!
#4 Clean water
There is little more satisfying than drinking water from a natural source! Minerals, vitamins, beneficial bacteria, along with the negative ions I was talking about in #3, all add up to a euphoric experience. If you can’t find a natural spring, even drinking water mindfully in nature is not only a lovely meditation, it also allows you to connect your body on a deeper level.
#5 Love & Connection
Connection is one of the most underrated medicines out there. Eating all the right things and exercising daily, will make you feel good but without love and connection, ultimate health is impossible to achieve. Humans are designed to be social animals, introverted or extroverted, we all crave connection.
One of the best ways to easily and fearlessly do this is to go outside and hug a tree. Hugging (even if it’s a tree, your pet, your friend or yourself) has shown to increase the happy neurochemicals in your brain, making you not only feel good, but feel connected too.
SO, what are some ways you can benefit from the healing properties of nature today? Here are some ideas.
- Get outside, even if you’re in an apartment building and there’s a tiny patch of grass, GO OUTSIDE.
- Allow the sun to touch your skin, no sunblock or lotions, and not through a window- for about 15 minutes; this gives your body ample time to absorb the rays and convert it into amazing nutrients.
- Walk your dog around the block, or if you don’t have a dog, walk yourself around the block!
- Take a brisk 10 minute stroll.
- Keep pictures of nature around you, even the influence of nature has been shown to lower stress levels.
- Create a garden or get yourself some flowers/ a plant for your desk!
- Listen to nature sounds, breathe and close your eyes.
All of these will help decrease your stress, alleviate your pain and make you feel more alive!
We understand that how you do anything is how you'll do everything, so please make sure you are putting yourself first and giving yourself the care you deserve!
Feeling overwhelmed or unsure of HOW to take care of yourself? Need more support?
In health & happiness,
Kierra Van Roots & Samantha Lotus
Holistic Nutritional Practitioners & Lifestyle Alchemists
Real Life But Better