In the past years and decades, the world has been developing and our lifestyles have been changing at a rapid pace. And while this is a good thing from certain aspects – technological improvements make our lives infinitely easier – there are some underlying drawbacks to these developments. Just think about it; when was the last time you went out to enjoy nature without carrying your cell phone? You probably can’t even remember. And while at first glance this might not look like a huge problem, in the long term, getting alienated from nature will affect your mental and physical well-being.
Forgetting about our innate connection to Mother Earth will soon have us feeling stressed and anxious, burnt out at work and uninspired and unmotivated in our private lives. Thankfully, it’s never too late to reconnect with nature and reach a calmer, more balanced state! Here are a few ways in which you can get closer to your roots and become part of nature once again.
The first step in reconnecting with our environment is realizing that we have always been parts of it. Look at your body and you will recognize that it is made of the very elements that also build up Mother Earth, and this is something that will never change. Therefore, make sure you always listen to what your body is signaling to you and that you maintain its harmony with nature.
Spending time in nature is the best way to rediscover your connection to it. This is achievable even if you live in an urban environment. Visiting some of your local parks or organizing short getaways on the weekends to nearby national parks are all viable options. Once you’re in nature, take in the present moment. Be aware of your surroundings: the wind on your skin, the warmth of the sun, the sound of the trees as they move and the song of the birds all around. Go a step further and take off your shoes. Interestingly, this practice has shown positive psychological benefits.
Going out into the local park once or twice a week is great, but getting away from your usual surroundings and experiencing a different part of our beautiful globe once in a while is simply invaluable. Traveling in itself already brings a slew of benefits to your mental well-being, but traveling to nature can multiply these benefits. There is probably no experience that compares to standing on the top of a mountain, taking in the breathtaking scenery as far as the eye can see, feeling like you’re on top of the world. Similarly, looking towards the endless ocean can evoke a newfound appreciation for all the wonders of our world. Exploring dense jungles in Bali, hiking in Tasmania and experiencing its diverse wildlife or seeing the untouched sceneries of Iceland – the choice is yours.
It’s an undeniable fact that in the 21st century, we spend too much time staring at screens. However, advising you to cut these habits out of your life is simply unrealistic. You can cut back on scrolling through social media, but the amount of time you spend in the digital and in the natural realm will still be far from balanced. What you can do in this case is bring more nature into the digital realm! According to the theory of biophilia, humans experience positive reactions even by the sight of nature – be it pictures, the view from your window or a few potted plants placed around your office.
Speaking of biophilia, there are numerous other ways in which you can take advantage of its benefits. For those stuck indoors for the majority of the day, biophilic design can certainly be of help in creating a more serene atmosphere. Besides the aforementioned potted plants, natural elements such as wood, stone, plenty of sunlight and colors that evoke nature all play an important role in this approach. Introducing some of these into your interior will instantly liven it up and boost your mood.
If you’re looking for a new hobby that will help you reinvent your connection to nature, gardening is the perfect answer. Of course, you don’t have to transform your entire yard into a vegetable garden, but creating a little corner where you can plant and nurture your very own plants will allow you to develop an appreciation for everything Mother Nature is doing for us. What’s more, it will put fresh and healthy food on your table, as opposed to artificial, store-bought. Growing herbs indoors is also an option if you don’t have garden space – and you will have all you need for a delicious meal.
The digital age has us drifting further and further away from what was once our natural habitat. As cities and city living is spreading, more and more people are finding themselves in a seemingly inescapable cycle where nature is just a distant memory. But it’s never too late to find your roots again. Go outside, breathe some fresh air and you will be on the right path.