8 Health Benefits of Nature Walks on Mental HealthJul 04, 2022
Did you know that connecting with nature increases not only our physical wellness but also our emotional wellness as well?
For years, I have learned through trial and error how to maintain my mental and emotional wellness.
As someone who has struggled with mental health, I am always hyper aware of how to continually manage it so I can show up as the best version of myself for my children and my family.
One of the KEY ways to manage my mental and emotional health is getting outside into nature.
This is so important to me that 7 years ago, I left my high paying government job, with no prospects of work, to move to a more rural location so I could be closer to nature.
I had been living in the city and my mental health was deteriorating and I was truly unhappy. So I took a leap of faith, and decided to follow my heart and move back to Vancouver Island where I was closer to nature.
I’m not going to lie, it was one of the scariest things I have ever done, but the BEST thing I have ever done for my overall wellness.
Now, going into nature is an ingrained routine in our life.
We have incorporated it into our biophilic lifestyle and we head out into nature when we are feeling un-aligned, when we want to go on an outdoor adventure, when we are mis-communicating and when our sweet daughters need to let some steam off.
In today's post I wanted to chat about the benefits of being in nature ways you can connect with nature.
WHAT ARE BENEFITS OF BEING IN NATURE ON YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
You know when you are overthinking and your mind will not stop racing? You do not know which step to take next, you are juggling a million plates up in the air and you just do not seem to know which way to go next? Connect with nature. Getting outside - whether you go into the forest, to water, or simply take a walk allows you to get out of your head, move your body and gain mental clarity.
More Present + Mindful
When we get out in nature we naturally become more present and mindful to our surroundings. Engulfing ourselves in the miracles unfolding around us in mother nature every day brings us to the present moment. Not sure how to do this? Stop and look at a flower. Watch a bee pollinating. Watch the grass swaying in the wind. Look at insects as they build their homes. Look at the diversity in nature.
This is a standard practice for my husband and I. When our communication is not going well and we are at a stand still on an issue, we always go out for some sort of walk in nature and talk it through. There is something about being immersed in nature that makes your issues seem less prominent. Not that they are not important, but nature reminds you of the bigger picture outside of your small circle.
Problems Don't Feel So Big
Connecting with nature allows you to reflect on how small we really are and the expansiveness of life. It reminds you to not overthink problems, to let nature unfold within you and to have another perspective on whatever problem you are facing. Getting silent bring clarity and calmness
Reminded of Miracles Everyday and Puts Life in Perspective
Miracles are occurring in nature every single moment. The fact that mother nature can work so seamlessly together from the tiniest microbiome to the largest animals is absolutely fascinating. Taking a moment to genuinely appreciate the miracles occurring all around you re-centres you and brings you to a more emotionally stable place.
Nurturing with Nature puts you in a better mood. There is something about being in the towering trees or overlooking the expensive ocean that lightens our mood naturally. Even if you are in a terrible mood when you go there, often it will slowly melt away as you immerse yourself in nature.
Connecting with nature helps you sleep better. The fresh air, stimulation to our senses and change in scenery helps us to sleep better.
Nature enhances creativity. Feeling stuck? Feeling writer's block? Artist block? Any type of creative block? Get outside. Look at all the amazing things unfolding before you. Be mindful of what you see, what you hear, what you smell - tune into the breeze on your skin, the sun on your skin or the rain on your face (because YES you can go outside in the rain!!!).
These are some of the ones that I have noticed in my personal journey and utilizing nature in my mental health and emotional wellness toolkit is one of my secret weapons in maintaining an intentional, healthy lifestyle.
Are you a nature lover? Do you have any benefits to add? Let me know in the comments below. What do you love about getting out in nature?
Need Outdoor Activity Ideas for Kids nd Families? Check out this post here!
***In addition to getting outside, I have infused a biophilic interior design and biophilic aesthetic into our green lifestyle. If you want to learn more about how you can nurture with nature and infuse biophilia into your lifestyle, I highly recommend checking out the following articles:
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