When you incorporate engaging, nature-inspired activities into your wellness routine, you can feel your mental, physical, and spiritual energies align. Making nature a part of your weekly regimen gives your body benefits that can seem almost magical. You experience an undeniable restorative power that flows through you, washing away worries almost instantaneously.
No wonder many cultures turn to the healing power of nature when faced with adverse situations. But how can you incorporate this into modern-day life with all of its modern-day problems?
Let’s dig a little deeper into this subject to understand the healing properties nature has to offer.
1. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SUNSHINE
You’ve noticed how everyone is grumpy when it’s a gloomy day, devoid of sunshine.
Why is this the case?
It has a lot to do with your serotonin levels, since the sun triggers serotonin production. Serotonin is a chemical our bodies produce that influences and stabilizes our mood, especially happiness. This also secures your melatonin production in the process, helping you get better sleep at night.
So, not only do sunrays put a little pep in your step and a smile on your face, but they’re also a vital source of vitamin D. Several people developed vitamin D deficiency during the pandemic, being stuck indoors for long periods. If you lack vitamin D, you’ll start to notice a range of symptoms, like fatigue, muscle discomfort and cramping, and depression.
As you can see, letting the sun’s beams shine down on you has more than a few benefits, but it’s most helpful when it comes to maintaining mental health.
2. BARE FEET AGAINST CRISP BLADES OF GRASS
Can you remember the last time you went barefoot in a field of grass, on a beach, in a creek, or somewhere similar?
You may not have been aware of it, but you were benefiting from something called the “grounding” technique. Grounding occurs when you place your bare feet directly against the ground, allowing the earth to send electrical charges into and throughout your body.
Don’t let “electrical charges” scare you. It’s not an actual life-threatening electrical charge, but rather the earth’s electrons, which balance the naturally occurring electrical current running through each and every one of us.
When it comes to natural healing powers, grounding reduces free radicals in the body, which lowers stress, anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night. It also helps with certain diseases and chronic conditions.
Don’t write it off as some hippie nonsense, before you give it a shot!
3. MINDFUL NATURE STROLLS
Combining mindfulness with some of your everyday practices provides more benefits than you’d think. Simply being outdoors — conscious of yourself, your surroundings, and all the subtleties of nature — performs wonders for your well-being.
You want to be mindful of how you feel, what you hear, see, and experience. Mindful walks help reduce stress and release tension from different areas of your body.
These types of walks may reduce blood pressure, heart rate, improve your mood, and enhance your sleep quality at night. Whether you opt for a hike in the mountains or a stroll around the block, take time to tune into your feelings and surroundings.
4. BECOME A PLANT PARENT
Several of us became plant parents during the pandemic, and for a good reason! Surrounding yourself with plants has tons of health-inspiring benefits, like better oxygen levels, reducing toxins in the air, and a sense of purpose, especially if you’re growing food.
In fact, a study from 2015 found being a plant parent reduces physiological and psychological stress. Indoor plants were also found to stimulate concentration and boost mental well-being. Plants release oxygen into the air while soaking up CO2. With the extra oxygen, your mind works more efficiently, eliminating brain fog and lack of concentration.
If you’re new to the whole “plant parent” thing and are deathly afraid you have a black thumb instead of the necessary green thumb, start with a snake plant. NASA recommends this plant since it absorbs toxic air pollutants and cancer-causing pollutants like CO2, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
If you’re not feeling the look of the snake plant, there are plenty of other options. It’s helpful to do a little research on certain plants before purchasing them, because some take a little more skill and tact to keep alive. And you don’t want to kill off your plant parent self-esteem before you get going.
5. TAKE A SOLO WELLNESS TRIP
There are plenty of benefits associated with alone time, but what about a solo wellness trip? Sometimes all you need is a little time to be with yourself, focusing on what you want and what you need to be happy.
Planning a solo wellness trip only amplifies the benefits associated with your reflective time, especially if you visit a retreat or spa-like environment to rest, relax, and restore for a few days. Solitude not only gives you time to reflect on specific directions you want to take in life, but it’s also known to stimulate creativity, attention, and empathy.
Whether you choose to find your zen sitting seaside on the Sri Lankan waters or float across the Amazon in a tiny raft, surrounded by nature, any solo wellness trip you take offers its own unique gift.
Of course, you don’t have to travel halfway across the world to make it happen either. There are plenty of places to go right here in the U.K. You could pop on over to the Bath and take advantage of the therapeutic qualities of mineral water.
The options are endless. It’s all about realizing what YOU need and making a plan to satisfy that need, so you can look and feel your best. After all, you work hard, and you deserve it!
A FINAL THOUGHT
If you think about it, nature always gives us what we need, and has since the beginning of time.
Why should that stop now?
Besides, the natural route is always the better route to take, especially when it comes to health and wellness. All you have to do is put some shoes on