Nature Heals Us

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We all know how much better we feel after spending time in nature – retreating to our garden, hiking through the woods, rafting, climbing on rocks or strolling in the sand. But did you know that there is real scientific evidence that reinforces that feeling of well-being?

The Japanese are really into the exploration of the benefits of being in nature and “forest bathing” (think sunbathing but in the woods) is a growing pastime in Japan. Studies show that being in nature helps your body release quality hormones like dopamine and other endorphins. According to a report by Dr. John Swartzberg in the Berkeley Wellness Letter, Dec. 2010, people do better on tests involving memory or attention after taking a walk through the woods than after walking in a city. And people have greater physical and mental energy and a greater sense of well-being after walking through a tree-lined river path than after walking indoors.

Being out in nature gives our brain a rest from the multi-tasking of our everyday life. We have more spaciousness in our mind and permission to simply be. We use all of our senses and integrate them in our experience of the outdoors. While we exercises we can integrate and balance the hemispheres of our brain. The bilateral movement of walking, running, pedaling, or paddling for example, creates a rhythm not only in our mind and body, but across the cortex of our brain that is very soothing and strengthening for brain activity.

According to research in Japan, walking in the woods can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and improve immune function for hours, even days! Other research shows that nature vibrates at a higher energetic frequency and tapping into that frequency by simply being in nature can raise our own energetic vibration.

When we discover the power of nature, and allow that to become part of our own power, everything benefits and we enjoy the restorative gifts of the natural world. So please, take a few minutes in nature each day as a way to nurture yourself, boost your mood and energy levels. The well-being that time in nature delivers is very real for our body, mind and spirit!

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