You may not realize why connecting to nature is so important, after all, it could be days or weeks or even months before you step foot outside and you don’t notice anything wrong. You aren’t sick, so why worry, right?
The effects of nature deprivation aren’t immediately noticeable, and they affect the body, mind and spirit. They slowly creep up on you in the background while you go through the day to day grind of your life.
Your life demands all your attention, so it slips the minds of most people to put nature on their priority list and set aside time for it every day.
Humans are just like like trees and plants, we need to be connected to the ground, we need the sun & water to grow, and the air to breathe. Unfortunately, spending the majority of our time indoors doesn’t allow for us to get sunlight, the grounding effects of the earth, or fresh air. And without those things on a regular basis, our soul also suffers.
Humans are made of nature, namely the five elements; water, air, earth, fire, and space. Sometimes it is shown as metal, instead of space. The metal version refers to the Earth's elements where space is more of a spiritual aspect of it.
Water. Everyone knows we need water to drink, and that our bodies are made mostly of water. It carries nutrients to our cells, helps eliminate waste, and regulate our body temperatures.
Air. Without the ability to breathe clean fresh air, we die. Not only does air provide oxygen for our cells, it also plays a huge part in our weather systems. Nature depends on air, and all living things in nature depend on air.
Earth provides us with nourishment and medicine. The earth also has an energy of her own, and we can tap into it if we touch the earth with our bare skin. The earth’s energy is grounding to us, binding us with nature.
Fire, on a physical level, is a chemical reaction. It is symbolized in the human body by creativity and passion. We also cannot live without the sun’s warmth and light.
Space is what holds it all together inside it, as well as being pure potentiality. Metal is the hard substances that are formed from the Earth in the form of minerals.
The simplest method of connecting to nature is to go for a walk! Easy, free, and it works every time! Best if you have an area like forest or woods or near water. If you live in a cold climate and bundling up doesn't sound appealing to you, I understand. I live in Minnesota where 1/4 of the year it is almost dangerous to be outside. In the winter, we have to get creative.
Meditation in nature can be even better than indoors, if you aren't around other people, barking dogs, traffic, and power lines. The more natural the better!
Camping is one of the best ways to connect to nature since it forces you to get up with the sun, and learn to cook things by the camp fire.
Hiking is another good choice, as it incorporates exercise and a connection to nature.
Gardening is probably the most rewarding method of connecting to nature. Having your hands in the dirt, sitting on the ground, and eating the fruits of your labor is probably the best way to achieve connection with nature. And you get the added bonus of your food being more nutritious and fresh.
If you're not afraid of thunderstorms, walking in the rain or standing under a roof outside during a storm is probably my favorite way to connect to nature. You are literally inside all the energy nature is releasing. It is such a powerful experience! Of course, be safe about it and don't stand under a tree or carry anything metal on you, if there is lightning.
Swimming in a lake is an excellent way to connect to nature, especially if the lake is somewhat clear and not polluted. There is something special about immersing yourself in water outside.
Walking along the sandy beach is one of the best ways to ground yourself, since there is so much water mixed in with the sand which helps your body absorb the Earth's electrons. In fact grounding is so good for us, it is recommended that we do it every day, if the weather allows.
It has a massive amount of health benefits, including helping you sleep better, reducing inflammation in the body, and reducing pain. So by walking barefoot on the Earth, we are forming a connection to nature that is not only literal but crucial for our health!
One hobby that definitely helped me with connecting to nature was nature photography. Photographing nature brings you deeper into it. Rather than just passing through, you are creating art out of a moment in time. It’s amazing the mindset you can adapt when heading outside with a camera. Even mundane corners of your neighborhood can hold lots of gems if you just keep a mindful eye.
Lets face it, 90% of the time you’re outside, are you really peering up the trunk of a tall tree? Do you ever stop to marvel at the layers of color and depth that cover almost every square foot of outdoor space?
It sounds cliche but you develop more of an appreciation for nature when you are forced to find beauty in it. I hope I can inspire you to venture out with a camera, and just try to keep up with the photo opportunities that seem to come out of the woodwork when you immerse yourself deep enough.
You don’t have to be a pro with a fancy camera. Some of my pictures were taken with $30 gift cameras I got for Christmas and birthdays. Some were taken with a pretty top of the line Nikon but honestly what matters is your creativity and your eye. A camera can’t take a picture that your eyes fail to see first.
If you ever have a few hours to kill, daytime or nighttime, there are endless works of art to find and capture…get out there and you will feel so connected to nature when you are done, you’ll have a huge smile on your face, you’ll feel energized, and you won’t be able to wait to discover more places!
Connecting to nature can be a struggle if you live in a cold climate or are house-bound for any reason. Here are a few ways you can bring nature indoors.
Keep plants and flowers indoors! Not only are they good for the air in your home, but they help you feel connected to nature. If you don’t get enough sun where you are, pothos are really good at thriving even without constant attention and sunlight.
Watching nature documentaries is always a joy, or just having a calming nature video playing while you meditate or relax.
Use a Himalayan Salt Lamp. These lamps are made from actual salt blocks taken from 5000 feet down into the salt caves, they are literally hundreds of millions of years old! It’s really cool knowing something that ancient is in my house. What these do is ionize the air which helps you breathe easier as well as gives you a calm feeling.
You know how awesome it feels outside after a thunderstorm? Everything is crisp and clean and refreshing, well there’s a reason for that.
Before a thunderstorm, the air is filled with positive ions. After the storm passes, the air is filled with negative ions. It sounds backwards, but negative ions are a good thing! A Himalayan salt lamp does this exact same thing indoors.
Another cool thing about these is that they incorporate ALL four elements! Earth is the wood base, Air is what it purifies, Water (in very small amounts) attracts to it when it is turned on, and Fire is from the heat from the light inside!
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