Last month we talked about creating your “Spiritual Toolbox” – your personal arsenal of healthy actions and practices to choose from or combine when you feel challenged. Connecting with nature is a terrific, restorative practice and the foundation for any spiritual toolbox. With spring in the air, there is no better time to get outside and “spring clean” away negative beliefs.
Studies bear out that spending time in nature lowers stress increase well-being, improves performance, concentration and memory, and yes – even eases pain.(1) Even looking at nature can promote healing: Evidence-based design (EBD) borrows from the science behind the connection between nature and wellness. Many modern healthcare settings are being designed with larger windows, beautiful views, and art inspired by the natural world.
It shouldn’t take a hospital stay for you to benefit: actively integrating nature into your daily life will make you feel healthier and wealthier:
- From NatGeo, This is Your Brain on Nature: “In 2009 a team of Dutch researchers found a lower incidence of 15 diseases—including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and migraines—in people who lived within about a half mile of green space. Lower mortality and fewer stress hormones circulating in the blood have also been connected to living close to green space.”
- “In 2015, an international team overlaid health questionnaire responses from more than 31,000 Toronto residents onto a map of the city, block by block. Those living on blocks with more trees showed a boost in heart and metabolic health equivalent to what one would experience from a $20,000 gain in income. (2)
With benefits like these and a warm wind blowing, there is no better time to step outside, breathe deeply, and clear your mind. Take it a step further: plant a garden, pull some weeds or attune your inner rhythm to outdoor sounds. In whatever way you connect, indulging in the self-care offered by the earth is a message of self-love to the universe. That’s net worthy!