What the heck? Yes! We are a part of nature, just as a tree is part of nature. Nature is not just the outside world; we are nature, and we are biologically attuned to it.
Think about it. Who doesn’t love a bright sunny day? And why does it make you feel better? As the sun shines and its rays touch your skin or as you sit in a sunlight-filled room, the brain releases serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting your mood and helping you feel happy and calm.
On the contrary, as the day moves to night and the sky darkens, it triggers your brain to make melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you drift off to sleep.
Even the moon affects us. Menstrual cycles are also known as “moon cycles” because many women observe that their cycle synchronizes with either the new or full moon.
There are so many clinical reasons that demonstrate how we are biologically intertwined with nature.
So, why is it that humans view themselves as separate from nature? Why have we become utterly detached from the responsibility we have to nature and thus Mama Gaia?
How do we reconnect with the world around us?
The answer is simple. To reconnect with mother nature, we must experience it with mindfulness and an open heart.
I like to run at 5:30 am. There are fewer people out, it is cooler, and the best part is, I get to witness nature as she changes her outfit from evening to day ware.
Each time I go out for an early run, I observe the sky. I see the moon and the stars. It’s as if they are guiding me on the darkened path. Halfway through the run, I see the sky lighten and change to an indigo color, as father suns climb up over the mountain and his rays reach out past the summit. By the time I get back to my car, the sun has illuminated the world around me.
Sometimes, I even hear a rooster say good morning, but I always hear the birds rustle and begin their songs as they fully awaken.
Mother Nature gives her gifts freely, and when we truly accept them, our spirit is lifted and joyous.
Nature is also a healer. Have you noticed more people outdoors since the pandemic started?
We instinctively know being in nature helps our mood and mental health, but there are also physical effects such as lowering blood pressure and softening the places we unconsciously keep gripped in our body. Nature allows us the space to take a deep breath, relax and calm the mind. This is when we ARE nature, connected to the life around us.
If you have a forest nearby, go take a forest bath. Bathing in the forest atmosphere is all about taking everything in through your senses. Simply allow nature to work her magic on you, refresh you, and nourish you.
Don’t worry, if you’re not an early bird like me! You don’t need to go for a run at 5:30 in the morning or find a forest to sit in to experience mother nature's healing. You can do it right in your own backyard. Grab a chair, close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature and feel the effects it has on your own body and soul.
The more time you spend being in nature, the more connected to life you will become.
John Muir spoke truth when he stated, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.”
As always, Be Well, Be Radiant, and Be You!
Interested in Forest Bathing? Watch this amazing video of forest bathing in the Okutama Forest. Enjoy!