Stoic way to heal Yourself, by spending time in Nature

Even the most anti-outdoorsy type has to admit that they feel calmer when they smell the fresh air and see the sunlight filtering in through the leaves. It fills us with a sense of comfort and relaxation.

Not only does it make us feel happy, but it also heals us from the inside out. It shows in how we think more clearly and how our moods are restored when we’re around nature.

Continue reading to learn more about how to heal yourself by visiting nature more often.

Why Do We Feel Blessed When We’re in Nature?

Getting back to nature acts as a reminder that we’re all part of the natural world called the earth. We’re all connected somehow, which is why you feel at peace when you’re in a quiet forest or by the seashore.

Think of when you walk barefoot on the beach or a patch of green grass. You know that pleasant feeling you get? The setting makes you feel like you’re in a quiet garden house, comfortable, relaxed, and at ease.

And the most rewarding part is all the stress and tension you’ve been holding onto melts away somehow. It’s like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and you feel freer and lighter.

How Can We Reconnect with Nature?

Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature and take advantage of its healing benefits can be a challenge in our hectic lifestyles. Yet, you don’t have to be camping in the middle of nowhere to enjoy nature. Instead, there are ways you can do just that right from the comfort of your own home.

Take a look.

Gardening

Don’t lose hope if you’re not into hiking or camping outdoors. You can still be close to nature but in a different way.

For example, depending on the season, you could plant a vegetable garden both inside, or outside your home. Tending to plants allows you to spend a good deal of time with nature and connect with mother earth.

You get to breathe in the fresh smell of the soil and the plants themselves. But, of course, it’s even more enjoyable if you’re planting fragrant plants, such as jasmine, roses, or lilies during the spring and summer.

You also get to connect with nature in a hands-on, visceral way that, for some people, can become very personal. In fact, many gardeners have said that when they were tending their gardens, they felt a deeper bond with nature they hadn’t felt before.

Many also feel that gardening makes them feel like they’re part of something much larger than themselves. This special connection allows them to bridge the gap between our hectic, modern human world and the natural world.

Mindfulness Meditation

Being outdoors is such a wonderful opportunity to slow down and breathe. Look around and see all the colors around you. Take in how the light plays through the leaves or reflects off a big, shiny rock.

Next, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Inhale as much fresh, clean air as you can to cleanse your lungs of the smog and fumes we’re so used to taking in.

During the summer, stop and listen. Take the time to listen to the birds and crickets chirping, as well as any other creatures, big or small.

During the winter if it snows, go out and enjoy the snow. If you live in a place where there is no snow in the winter, still step outside and breathe in the fresh air and listen to the wind.

Also, if there’s a brook or stream nearby, pay close attention to the sound of the water. Studies show that the sound of running water is calming and can even have an antidepressant effect.

Yet, the most valuable thing to listen for in nature is nothingness. That calm, peaceful feeling has become so rare that we sometimes don’t know just how much we miss it.

Forest Bathing

Forest bathing,’ or ‘shinrin-yoku’ in Japanese, is the art of moving slowly and mindfully through a forest. The aim of this Asian practice is for you to engage all five senses along the way.

So, with each step, you take in all the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. This experience is similar to mindfulness meditation, which we mentioned above.

Yet, it offers benefits beyond stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system or reducing your stress levels. (Your parasympathetic nervous system is a network of nerves that relaxes your body after periods of stress or danger. It also helps run life-sustaining processes, like digestion, during times when you feel safe and relaxed.) Forest bathing also helps increase anti-inflammatory properties in your body and boost your immune system, all thanks to the terpenes you inhale as you’re walking through the forest.


Continuation in a stoic way…

More and more people are starting to realize that the most natural way to heal themselves is by getting back to nature. It’s true that the more time we take to relax and unwind in nature, the better off we’ll be.

The stoic way

One more thought, and this one is from Epictetus, Enchiridion ch. 4. A Stoic who reminds us to bathe in accordance with nature, since we are all part of the natural world.

“Remind yourself what the nature of that activity is. . . . [S]traightaway say to yourself “I want to bathe and at the same time maintain my faculty of choice in accordance with nature”. . .  For in this way, if anything that hinders you from bathing happens to arise, you will have ready at hand the saying “Well, this was not the only thing I wanted, but also to keep my faculty of choice in accordance with nature; and I won’t keep it [in that way] if I get upset over the things that occur.”

In order to heal properly, we should spend more time in nature because, if we choose to, it is one of the fastest ways.

I encourage you to spend time in nature, whether it’s in the woods or by the seashore!

 

Share, How do you heal yourself in nature?

Cheers,

Jay

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