Every time I go outside in nature, I notice that I immediately feel better.
Even if it is for a few minutes, it makes a big difference in my mood and my day.
Studies show that being around greenery and nature lowers blood pressure, heart rate, reduces stress levels, improves your immune system, increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety, and improves mood.
In fact, this study of 20,000 people found that people who spent two hours a week in nature, either all at once or spaced over the week, were much more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t!
And before you say it, I know that it can be super difficult to get outdoors for some but that should not stop you from having an open mind about simple ways to reap the benefits of “nature therapy.”
First thing you need to do is shift your thinking. Getting out in nature is not about planning a trip to a foreign, beautiful natural setting. It’s all about getting outside no matter where you are.
And if you’re a mom, I am sure you can relate to the need to decompress but you need it to be easy and quick. What’s cool about going outdoors is you can involve your family in every one of these ideas that I’m going to share below.
There are a lot of different tips & tricks for getting outside and connecting with nature, so let’s get right into it.
How Nature Can Help You Feel Better Today
1. Practice being present in natural environments.
Being present in nature does not have to be something that takes any time at all. You can practice it right away by getting into Mother nature wherever you are.
Be present while you’re getting the mail or going to your car. This is something you can easily practice daily and one which has positive effects on your health.
Next time you get your mail from the mailbox, keep your phone inside and be present during the walk to your mailbox. Take 3 deep breaths and notice the scent and how calm you feel in that moment. Those few minutes spent intentionally connecting to natural environments and taking in the nature scenes are so good for you and can immediately lower your stress hormones.
2. Touch the leaves or a tree.
Spending time in nature has been shown to release oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for feeling calm & emotional bonding.
Something about being close and connected to nature helps release happy hormones and I can attest to this firsthand.
I am sure you’ve noticed it, too! The biggest tip and take home here is all about finding what works for you. Going out into the natural setting, taking a walk and simply touching greenery along the way is all it takes to release those happy hormones.
While I am taking the time to touch trees and leaves, I think about all the things I am grateful for. This applies ESPECIALLY when I have had a few rough days or an experience something that did not go so well. I take the time to reconnect with nature and I remind myself of how good life is. Expressing gratitude for being able to touch a tree and take deep breaths is grounding and helps me quickly shift my mood.
This also applies to my kids. If I feel like they are not in a great mood or are picking fights with each other, I get them outside. This way they release the tension and all the built-up energy.
3.Grounding (or earthing).
This is something I do on the weekends mostly when the weather is nice.
When I am outside in my yard, I take my shoes off. I love walking barefoot in the yard and letting the grass and dirt touch my feet.
What’s amazing is that there is science behind grounding. There is a huge supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth. Our modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact and this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and un-wellness.
Reconnection with the Earth’s electrons has also been found to be beneficial for improved sleep and reduced pain. Exposure to nature by grounding is a great way to get some physical activity in and reduce stress.
4. Take a midday walk.
You already know walking is good for you, but I am going to repeat it anyway. Schedule it in, even if it is for 5-10 minutes at a time. It still counts and it all adds up!
For me, I love taking daily 20-minute walks with the kiddos every evening and it makes us all feel so good. Everyone is so relaxed and happy after our walks and it is something I am working on instilling in them from a young age.
So there you have it. A few ways you can get outside to ground & connect with nature.
The benefits of nature and taking part in outdoor activities is so crucial during this time because of phone addiction. Attention deficits, depression and anxiety are at an all time high and getting out in nature can be beneficial not just for individuals but also for the public health.
If you don’t live near nature, don’t worry. You can designate a spot in your house (maybe your office or kitchen) and add some plants or you can put on some nature sounds on your speakers. It’s meditative & sounds so pretty.
Interacting with nature in simple ways is all it takes to boost your energy. Every year around springtime, I make a list of simple daily things I can do to get off my computer and phone and get into the natural world.
This helps elevate my mood and my kids’ immune system. They also are able to release so much energy and I’ve noticed it drastically improves their appetite.
A few other ways to bring nature indoors when you can’t get outside are:
- Indoor Plants
- Start an indoor herb garden
- Decorate some spaces with images of nature
- Guided meditation: your imagination is extremely powerful and you can simply close your eyes and transport yourself to anywhere in the world. Use a nature guided meditation to help you relax and focus.
- Let the fresh air in!
As you can see, it does not have to be some elaborative outing. Finding simple ways to include nature into your daily life will lead to an improved physical and mental health.
A few things to keep in mind as you are enjoying nature:
- Protect your skin with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen – here is a list of my favorite products
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids to protect yourself from dehydration. You can even add a sprinkle of salt in there for some electrolytes.
So there you have it, many ways to connect with nature that take little to no time. It is all a matter of prioritizing the importance of connecting to nature and making notes of how you will spend time outdoors.
I would love to hear from you in the DMs on Instagram.
What are your favorite ways to spend time outside? Do you have a really interesting or unusual activity? Let me hear it!