Back to Nature
Whether you're trying to heal a current health condition or protect your health in the future, getting back to nature should be a part of everyone's health care plan.
The stressors of life can really take its toll on us physically, spiritually, and emotionally and it is essential to renew ourselves from time to time. This is especially true for anyone living with a chronic health condition.
On the biochemical level, spending time with nature stimulates our feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins and turns off the sympathetic nervous system, improving our moods and brain function, decreasing pain, heightening feelings of well-being and connectedness and reducing stress. Thus, communing with nature on a regular basis is a supreme method for nourishing and renewing ourselves and optimizing our mental, physical and spiritual health.
Our Universe, in its magnificent beauty, offers us endless opportunities for enriching our life; it costs nothing and it surrounds us continually no matter where we are. Get in touch and intimate with nature. This can be something as simple and basic as watching the sunset or sunrise, observing cloud formations or gazing at the moon and stars. Let the warm summer breeze titillate your skin and nurture your senses, or hypnotize yourself with the soft patter of rain or the fall of beautiful snowflakes.
Immerse yourself in the healing rays of beauty, which radiate from the colors of fall leaves, and delight in the beautiful crunching of them beneath your feet. Hug a tree, lie on the ground, or touch a rock. Feel the energy of the Universe around you and let it rejuvenate and energize you deep in your core. Take a daily walk to get your exercise and connect with nature simultaneously, therefore doubling the physical and emotional benefits.
Talk to the birds, bunnies, lizards, etc. I know it sounds funny, but they seem to understand a loving tone and respond by becoming more trusting. When I talk to my bird friends, they look straight in my eyes and turn their head sideways. They sometimes talk back with cute little chirps and noises. We seem to have some kind of communication. As they trust you more, they will live closer to your living space and you'll be able to observe their amazing and interesting behaviors.
Become a nature investigator and learn about the trees, flowers, and butterflies. Admire the different plants and all their unique aspects. Outline the shape of a leaf or a plant with your finger and be inspired by the intricate details of its form. Watch how they go through different phases during the seasons. Observe how amazing the behavior of the tiny little insects can be.
Plant a garden or some flowers, it is incredibly rewarding to tend to them and watch them grow. Be mesmerized by the lovely coo of a mourning dove, the hoot of an owl, the caw of a raven, or the song of the crickets. Watch with awe as a turkey vulture or hawk soars beautifully across the sky. Listen to the songbirds chatter at different times of the day. Try to decipher what it means. I have learned that when the Scrub Jays get in a group close to the ground and squawk very loudly that there is a rattlesnake passing by and they give it a hard time. This is very beneficial for me to know, so I can be cautious where I step.
The opportunities for getting back to nature are infinite. I never cease to be amazed and in awe of the intricacies I can find in nature to amuse, nourish, and entertain myself. Intimate time with nature is as important to me as eating three low-carb Paleo meals a day. Without my relationship with it, I would wither and die inside.
It is my personal belief that all of us should try and live in an area where nature encompasses us at all times, where it is easy to get back to nature by looking out our window or stepping out on our porch. Position your desk, computer, or recliner near a window with a view so you can observe changes in weather, bird behavior, watch the clouds roll by, sunsets, etc.
If this isn't something you can make happen, then try to bring nature into your home. Take a day trip from time to time and collect some nature photos that you can put in a frame. Collect leaves, shells, rocks, pinecones, acorns, or other interesting matter and keep them in your home in an inspiring display. Buy books or photos and hang them on your walls. The Internet has an abundance of nature websites you can visit and you can find a variety of beautiful and inspiring nature scenes to display as a screen saver or desktop image.
I particularly love the sound of the crickets. I live in the mountains in the desert and can enjoy the natural sounds of crickets all summer long. I find the sound of water is especially soothing, relaxing, and healing as well. And any songbird is a delight.
Although winter can be a very difficult time, especially for individuals living with a chronic health condition, it is not without beauty and gifts that we can enjoy and benefit from. In nature, fall and winter are a time of dying and death and spring is a time of rebirth and renewal -- and our bodies go through a similar natural cycle. The cold weather may create additional limits in your life, symptoms may flare, the lack of light may cause depression or changes in mood, and we may be prevented from being outside as much as we like and unable to open the windows for fresh air. The body may be a little more sluggish and not as energetic.
Try not to let the colder weather stop you completely from communing with nature and instead use it to help you get through this downtime. Get out, enjoy, and absorb the cool breeze, appreciate the beautiful snow scenery (if there's snow in your area), discover the beauty of the barren trees and landscape and observe the wildlife's survival behavior.
When spring arrives and begins the process of rebirth, our bodies begin to come alive again, but we can facilitate and enrich this process by spending more time with nature. Although spring is often thought of as the time of renewal, each season has its own beautiful, unique gems we can use to rejuvenate ourselves.
Regardless of which season it is, the benefits of getting back to nature are many. We can draw energy and wisdom from it; it facilitates healing and relaxation, nourishes us spiritually, and adds richness and fulfillment to our lives. It is my personal belief that it is essential to connect with nature because it is the roots of our spirituality. It is one of the most effective ways to nourish and heal ourselves because it is intrinsic to whom we are and where we come from.
The Universe is an eternal spring of life-sustaining energy that is beneficial to your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Give yourself the gift of nature today. And, if you live with a chronic health condition and need more creative ideas to cope and enhance your life, check out my book, Living Life to the Fullest.
On the other hand, getting back to nature is about much more than communing with Mother Nature. It's also about getting back to the diet that human beings are supposed to eat and the environment we should live in. When we live in harmony with nature, then this too promotes optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
The diet that human beings are supposed to eat consists only of whole organic foods taken from nature; not processed garbage food like sugar, flour, additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings, sweeteners and dyes, caffeine, pesticides, herbicides, etc. A healthy diet plan consists of foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate -- unprocessed meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and berries.
Our environment should be natural and chemical free, the way it was before human beings contaminated it with toxins. Our homes, offices, vehicles, property, farms, public buildings, parks etc., should be free of pesticides, herbicides, and products like artificial cleaning supplies, cosmetics, perfume, air fresheners, laundry soap, and fabric softener sheets that contain toxins that are harmful to our health. Living green should be the way of life of every person, naturally.
As we can see by the level of disease in our society, the diet and environment of modern day have led to the destruction of our bodies and minds. When we get back to nature in all areas of our lives, we are living the way we were intended to live and this encourages health and healing.