The Power Of Nature For A Sense Of Calm, Clarity and Connection (Holistic Habit Stacking Week 3)
We’re bringing it back to the basics to help you build foundations for health on a daily basis - in a way that’s actually doable. The key to creating your most vibrant self begins here: Holistic Habit Stacking. New to this concept? Check out this post (plus get a free downloadable resource to help!) and begin with our first habit and then second habit. Then keep scrolling for the third (and final) habit we’re stacking in this blog series!
This totally free, time-tested, ancient healing technique (with tangible benefits in as little as ten minutes a day) might just sound too good to be true.
Spoiler alert: it’s simply the power of nature.
For centuries, communities from Japan to Norway have integrated the healing properties of nature into their daily lives and adopted this age-old wisdom for wellness in body, mind and, most importantly, spirit. These deeply held beliefs now have the backing of science proving nature’s profound ability to not only restore health within, but to restore our relationship with our sense of self and a sense of something greater.
Yet in today’s fast-paced, productivity-focused world, the majority of people spend most of their time separated from nature - stuck at a desk or glued to a screen inside, surrounded by artificial light, invisible (ahem, harmful) electromagnetic frequencies, concrete structures and contaminated air (P.S. The air indoors can be hundreds of times more polluted than outside!).
No wonder we’ve so easily lost touch and have become more disconnected from the natural world (and dare we say, our inner world). We’ve traded the power of nature for different priorities, an unsustainable pace and oftentimes, have reduced its healing power down to a pill.
It’s almost as if the natural world isn’t so natural to us anymore.
Could this disconnect play a part in the rise of chronic disease and depression? It very well could. But here’s the good news: studies show that spending time in nature can actually play a significant role in decreasing depression and disease - while restoring a sense of calm, clarity and connection.
This is why we’re getting back to the basics, not just the basics of holistic habit stacking, but of who we are as human beings - and the healing power nature holds.
THE POWER OF NATURE
We’re all about using natural remedies to restore health and healing - and there’s nothing more natural than nature itself. The power of nature is scientifically supported for its unmatched ability to positively impact our brain, our cells, our soul and most importantly, our spirit. Here’s how.
Spending time in nature helps:
- soothe the nervous system
- ease chronic stress
- support hormonal health
- balance emotional well-being
- inspire gratitude
- increase immunity
- optimize circadian rhythm
- enhance cognitive function
- so. much. more.
The power of nature is multi-faceted, and today (for the sake of space in this blog post) we’re just focusing on a few:
BREATHE DEEP: In nature, we begin to breathe more deeply, more slowly. Heightening our sense of smell to absorb the natural scents all around us (sea spray, flower garden, pine trees) and receive the aromatherapy benefits on a cellular level.
Breathing in the aroma of nature, especially trees, can help to lower blood pressure, increase immunity and support a sense of calm through the release of phytoncides (simply put: plant essential oils) from the fragrance of the forest.
The mere aroma of nature can positively impact our brain waves, shifting from those that can contribute to dis-ease to ones that promote health and healing. Nature actually has the power to rewire our brain for a deep sense of well-being within and rebalances physiology. Talk about a positive form of “brainwashing.” ;)
GET GROUNDED: The secret to absorbing even more benefits from nature: go barefoot. Earthing or grounding (aka being outdoors barefoot) has decades of research to back its benefits. Getting outside sans shoes exposes your body to billions of microbes that can help ease stress (aka act as a natural antidepressant!), release serotonin, and lower inflammation.
The earth is one giant magnet and when we make direct contact with our bare skin, we tap into this unmatched source of healing power to noticeably decrease inflammation (the root cause of almost every disease or ailment). Our bodies are pumping with positive electrons which contribute to harmful health issues and the negative electrons from the earth help to neutralize free radicals while also helping to promote detoxification and deeper, dreamier sleep.
Unfortunately, with our modern way of life, most of us are running around with rubber-soled shoes that become a barrier and block the absorption of the earth’s energy. Can’t get barefoot as often as you’d like? One of the perks of our modern world and innovative technology is the creation of earthing mats you can sleep on, grounding shoes to wear daily and other products that mimic the benefits of being barefoot on the earth.
GET NEGATIVE: This one’s positive, we promise! Another gift from nature are negative ions - tiny molecules that promote a more uplifted, positive mindset by increasing serotonin production. These invisible mood-enhancers are often emitted in areas of forests, trees, mountains and water such as waterfalls and the ocean and are proven to help alleviate stress, depression and boost brain wave amplitude to create a calm, clear mindset.
GET POSITIVE: Spending time in nature creates a ripple effect of wellness within - from having a positive impact mental health to inspiring feelings of hope. It can soothe unsettled emotions and scattered minds to help restore a sense of balance in body, mind and spirit.
Studies have even shown that 75-90% of people experienced higher self-esteem and felt less depressed when simply going for a walk in a local park. And 94% of people struggling with mental illness felt their mood improve after spending time in nature.Plus it ignites a sense of awe, curiosity and childlike wonder, inspires creativity, establishes a deeper sense of connection and belonging plus it helps to lower cytokines in the body which reduces the risk of sickness.
GREATER PERSPECTIVE: Let your gaze linger on a tree, a field, the sky, the sea. When we allow ourselves the time and space to simply stare and soak in the beauty and grandeur or tiny details of nature we’re surrounded by, it gives us a sense of smallness (in the best way possible) and slowly starts to wash away the weight of our worries as priorities tend to naturally reorient themselves. Nature can be a powerful reminder that maybe our stresses aren’t as heavy as they once seemed, that we play a small part in a much bigger picture and that we are surrounded by a force much greater than ourself working on our behalf behind the scenes.
Nature has a way of helping us get out of our head and drop into our heart in a deeper way - encouraging connection, clarity and calm. Getting outside every day creates an opportunity to not only connect with the world around us, but the world within us. Even just a short walk in nature helps to turn down the volume of the modern world and attune to the still voice within.
THE PRACTICE OF NATURE
We find relaxation and restoration in nature, a reconnection to the world around us and within us in a way that isn’t easily supported with the “bigger, faster, more” mentality of our modern world. So establishing a new habit of slowing down and spending time in nature might take a bit more intention to start. But soon enough, it will be a time you naturally carve out in your day to day - and a habit that you even start to crave.
Start with spending 10 minutes a day in nature - walking mindfully, breathing deeply and simply being. Tip: Go barefoot (when possible) for even greater benefits!
Every schedule/situation is different (we see you homeschooling mama with a side hustle) and finding the time to fit an extra 10 minutes of anything during your day can sometimes feel difficult. Make this habit work for you and the season you’re in!
Take advantage of your lunch break at work and get outside for some much-needed Vitamin D, take the kiddos on a walk around the neighborhood in the morning before school (with a snack in hand), or leave the dishes in the sink for the sake of an after-dinner stroll as the sun sets. Relax and recharge as you immerse yourself in the natural world and experience the difference that just 10 minutes a day can make.
Here are a few simple tips to cultivate the power of nature therapy in your daily life:
- “Take 10.” Make this your new mantra to take 10 minutes outside whenever you need a mental reset, a perspective shift or just a breath of fresh air.
- Leave your phone at home (if you’re not going too far!) or keep it on airplane/do not disturb mode to minimize distractions as you notice the natural world around you.
- Bring your water bottle with you (with a pinch of sea salt!) to stay hydrated on the path.
- Soak in early morning sunlight (sans SPF).
- Get gardening - get your hands in the soil and care for a little seed, turned sprout, turned flower.
- Bring your workout outdoors! Lay your yoga mat on the grass or go for a run on the sidewalk.
- Walk slowly, being mindful of your breathing.
- Enhance your time outdoors by earthing! Go barefoot for even more benefits.
- Allow your senses to absorb the beauty and aromatherapy benefits nature offers:
- What do you see? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you hear?
Find space to experience nature no matter where you are (even if you find yourself smackdab in the middle of a concrete jungle) just by stepping outside your front door - whether it’s soaking in the sun rays peeking through the clouds, a stretch of grass in a local park, strolling your neighborhood sidewalk or taking a hike in a nearby nature preserve, there is beauty in the outdoors waiting to be discovered.
Still struggling to get outdoors or stuck inside due to wild winter weather? Don’t worry, you can bring the benefits of nature indoors! Here’s how:
- Diffuse the Winter Home Blend (or another organic essential oil blend) throughout your space to bring the practice of forest bathing indoors.
- Loop playlists of natural soundscapes (on Spotify or meditation apps) to surround yourself with the soothing sounds of nature.
- Light therapy - receive the rejuvenating benefits of light even during dark, gray winter days.
- Watch scenes of nature on your computer/tv for a midday pick-me-up at your office (do a quick online search for nature scenes to play on repeat!).
- Bring air-purifying plants indoors to cleanse your home/office and uplift your spirit.
You can read all day about the power of nature, but now it’s time to go actually experience it. Close your laptop, turn off your phone and let your spirit soak in the healing power of nature.
Step outside and step towards the best, most vibrant version of yourself. Happy earthing! XO
Habit Stacking Tip: Stack them all! Pour your sea salt water in a glass bottle, get outside in fresh air and sunshine and allow yourself to walk or sit in stillness - tuning into the beauty and abundance of the present moment and the natural world around you. And then reflect on your intention for 2022. Let it sink even more deeply and move forward with that word at the forefront of your mind into your best, most vibrant year yet. Haven’t downloaded your Holistic Habit Tracker yet? Start now!
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