Do you sometimes feel like the chaos and the struggles of your day-to-day life will never end? That you’ll never find relief?
The stress, anxiety, and depression are all hammering at you day in and day out. Your boss yells at you. Your kid is sick. You don’t know how you’re going to pay the rent this month.
You have too much going on in your head. Too much noise, too much input.
Spending Time In Nature
I too had these struggles and still sometimes do. But now I have a solution. Something that clears my mind, grounds me, gives me space, peace, and quiet. Something that makes me feel whole again.
The 1st time I did this I simply cried the whole time.The relief I felt was so great I just cried and cried. Then I took time to think.
Now I spend time reflecting, journaling, or just sitting and feeling the warmth of the sun. Listening to the rustle of leaves, noticing the shapes of the trees, or the patterns in the bark.
Benefits Of Spending Time In Nature
There are so many benefits to spending time in nature. Scientists are just starting to scratch the surface on studying the benefits. So far, huge results have been discovered for spending time in nature. Here are a couple of good articles that cite and discuss these studies if you are interested in reading more on this.
Spending Time In Nature Reduces Stress – ScienceDaily
Spending time in nature boosts health, study finds – CNN Travel
Today, I’m going to simply tell you my experiences, and the benefits I’ve received. I will share with you how I incorporate spending time in nature into my life. Here are some of the greatest outcomes I have noticed:
When you’re still in nature, you start looking and noticing things. You notice the different colors, the way the shade and light makes different patterns. You notice textures, and movement in a different way.
You see that every tree is unique in it’s shape and growth patterns. You notice how the sun changes the way you feel when it hits your face. You notice how the sound of moving water soothes you.
You start to really understand how each of us are so very different and unique just as the trees are. Every one of us has a place and a purpose. Every one of us are perfect and special.
There are so many benefits of grounding yourself with the earth, or earthing as it is sometimes referred to. It’s a simple practice with alot of scientifically proven benefits. If you would like to learn more, check out Earthing – 7 Benefits of Reconnecting With the Earth
This article will show you the benefits of earthing and give you ideas on how to incorporate it into your life. When you’re already spending time in nature this is simple to accomplish.
When you spend time in nature, you begin to notice the beauty around you, and your spirits lift simply by the change in your environment. You start to appreciate things more. Your attitude becomes one of gratitude instead of complaint.
You start to realize what’s really important in your life. You realize that life is short and you would much rather enjoy yourself than be miserable all of the time.
You start appreciating the small stuff. You appreciate the people in your life. You appreciate small acts of kindness, a smile in passing, the warmth of the sun, the flower in bloom, the birds singing.
Feeling gratitude and appreciating all of the beauty in your life changes you. It changes how you view everything. It changes how you think. It changes how you show up for others.
Less Stress and Anxiety
I think much of the stress and anxiety I was feeling was simply that I was always feeling rushed and like I never had enough time. Once I learned how to slow down and focus on what was really important to me, I started having more time. I started to feel less stressed out.
The negativity in my mind is what caused most of my anxiety. Constant worry over bills and lack of money was what I dwelt on the most. I finally realized that worrying didn’t ever change the outcome. All it did was cause anxiety attacks.
Realizing this gave me the opportunity to change my thoughts. I realized I could worry and feel miserable or I could focus on what I could control and feel better. I had a choice in how I felt. Amazing!
Spending time in nature gives you the ability to decompress, and let go of all the garbage in your mind. Your mind slowly quiets and your body slowly unwinds. You suddenly realize how tense and rigid your body had been. Now it’s able to relax and take a breather.
Our bodies spend so much time on high alert when we are stressed out. It’s important to not just give our minds some down time but also our bodies. Daily stress has an enormous impact on our health and the ability for our immune system to function properly.
When your body has the time to relax and rejuvinate, you will find your sleep gets better and your energy levels increase.
More Aware of Who I Am and What I Want
I have learned how important reflection is. Reflecting on where I’m at right now and what I want to change. Taking the time to ask the tough questions:
- Who am I?
- What am I going to do with my life?
- What have I accomplished up until this point?
- What is my purpose?
- What impact has my life made?
- What impact do I want to make?
Without asking these questions and figuring out the answers, we just coast through life. I don’t want to coast through my life. I want to grow, change, and steadily move forward toward accomplishing great things. I want my life to have meaning and substance.
I didn’t even realize these things before. I just got into a routine. Get up, go to work, come back home, make dinner, watch tv and go to bed. Rinse and repeat.
Sure there were other things thrown in there as time permitted. But to be completely honest, I just didn’t have the energy, desire, or mental bandwidth to go out and have fun, or socialize much. It became more work than it was worth to me. I just wanted to sleep.
I’m so happy that this is no longer the case.
Intuitive Thoughts Can Be Heard
Life is so noisy, we often can’t hear ourselves. We tune out the intuitive thoughts or our inner voice that is there to direct and guide us.
This inner voice is there to help you and direct you through your life. Taking time just being quiet, in a quiet place will get you back in touch with your inner you.
Creating space for thought will also allow ideas to flow to you. It will spark your creativity. There’s nothing better than spending time in nature to get your creative juices flowing.
Depression is Gone
Since spending more time in nature, the cycles of depression I experienced in the past have completely disappeared from my life. I think there are many factors that played into this result.
If you read through all of the other benefits that I’ve shared with you, you’ll notice that they all benefit those that are going through depression. Many of the things I was feeling and experiencing in my life was what was creating that depression:
- Not dealing with things
- Focusing on the problem instead of the solution
- Focusing on what’s wrong in my life and not even noticing all the things that are great
- Not creating space for me
- Not having time to process things in my mind
- Not thinking about the things I want in life and setting goals for myself to achieve them
- Thinking that this is all life has to offer
- Always feeling rushed and overwhelmed
- Always feeling like I could never get ahead, that I never had enough time
These are all of the things that contributed to my feelings of depression. Spending time in nature has slowly whittled away at these things to the point that I no longer feel depressed. I no longer feel stuck.
I’m Able To Cope With Life Better
Because of all the benefits I’ve already mentioned, I am able to cope with life and the stress that comes my way much easier. It seems to have much less impact on my mood, my health, and how I view my life.
I’m less likely to fly off the handle or lose my cool. I have more patience and understanding for those around me. I am a much calmer person.
Since starting to make spending time in nature a priority, I’m able to accomplish more in less time. I’m not sure why, but my guess is that being less stressed out and scattered gives me the ability to be more focused. Whatever the reason, this has been a game changer for me.
It has been several years now since I started making spending time in nature a priority in my life. The benefits I have found have been so great and so profound and life changing that it will always be a part of my life.
For Further Reading