“Nature connects us to our roots, the grass, the ocean, the trees are all part of our primeval world. It is where we feel most at home”. ~ Dr. Matthew Baral
Have you ever wondered why we feel so very alive and recalibrated when we are in Nature?
Here are 4 fairly useful reasons that may explain why 😉
1. Spending time in nature can replenish depleted energy:
When we have anxious or stressful thinking we activate our body’s brilliant physical stress response.
This brilliant survival design was created by a system far greater than we know to ensure our survival. I
However, it is only meant to be activated every 24-48 hours for 30 minutes!
So – if we are running away from a tiger, we are empowered by superhuman strength and speed.
At the same time, the stress response activates a cascade of hormonal changes which includes turning off our sex, growth and immunology hormones.
This worked just fine and dandy when we were only running away from tigers.
Imagine what this does in today’s society where most people are walking around activating the stress response all day long…
Spending time outside sends signals to the brain that the body is back in its native environment and recalibrates itself to stay alert.
According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health – when people spend time in a forested setting, feelings of vigor and vitality are increased.
I can attest to this – can you?
2. Natural scenery can heighten awareness:
When you leave the four walls of your office, a gym or your house, all of your senses wake up – scent, sight, and touch, in particular, activate parts of the brain that make you more present.
When we get out of the noise of our mind and the heaviness of our thinking, we can also feel more present – when we are more present we are more naturally inclined towards peace, wellness, calmness, and clarity.
This means we are not activating that stress response as mentioned in #1 –> which can only have beneficial effects on our body and mind.
I taught outside for 10 years – one of the reasons I chose to do this and still LOVE being outside is because I was completely drawn to nature.
I can really feel the oxygen flowing through me and empowering whatever I am doing in that moment.
Be it yoga, walking, running, sitting, writing, chatting – I am and always have been, present and grateful.
3. Practicing exercise or yoga in a magical natural environment can build confidence:
Find your edge – no, I don’t mean balancing down-dog on a side of a cliff, nor do I mean within the edge of your apparent physical self …
Exercising outside for the first time can feel awkward.
It is easy to feel self-conscious when you’re used to being in a certain environment.
While familiarity *apparently* brings security, stepping outside your comfort zone opens a gateway to an entirely new interpretation of yourself, your mind, your body and what it can do.
Imagine the power of sun salutations under actual sun rays or the vivacity of a tree pose while focusing on a real tree instead of a spot on the wall.
I would love you to join me for my Nature retreat in Andalusia to show you the magic of nature, and the magic of you.
“Your body is a research instrument, learn how to use it.” ~ Amos Clifford
4. The outdoors can further boost meditation’s benefits:
Scientists have already shown that those who meditate on a regular basis have a smaller amygdala – the part of the brain that is responsible for managing the fight-or-flight response cited above in #1.
Coincidentally, field studies, published in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine, show that people who were exposed to a forest environment versus an urban environment had a lower concentration of the stress hormone cortisol.
From my own experience of working outside and, in more recent years being drawn back to the sea, I am more present, more aware of my gratitude, and in awe of what we have going on around us which may be unseen to those who do not take the time to look.
Nature is the therapist, allow me to help guide you to open the doors.