Have you ever considered that being connected to nature is one way of achieving the inner peace that we all crave?
Life today moves at a record pace. It’s easy to feel disconnected. Maybe you're so preoccupied with everything in your daily existence that you hardly even have time to breathe.
Maybe the only time you observe nature is when the weather interferes with your to-do list.
Well, now is the time to change that.
Many individuals have looked into the connection between spending time in nature and our physical and mental health. Strolling in a green space has been demonstrated to help with mental health issues such as depression and ADHD.
Time spent in nature is a wonderful way to both focus yourself and connect with those things beyond yourself and manage your stress before your stress manages you.
Here are a few excellent techniques to get started bonding with the natural world around you, no matter where you want your time outside to take you.
1. Slow Down To The Speed Of Nature
Nature takes its time. Walking slowly causes you to breathe more slowly, by default making you feel more relaxed. Slow down and notice what’s all around you (big and small). Maybe it’s a speck of lichen in a crack in the sidewalk or a tree you've never spotted before. Take it all in. You never know what you’ll discover as you sink into this more natural rhythm of being.
2. Experiment With Barefoot Breathing
You’re probably saying, “What the heck is barefoot breathing?!” Well let me explain. Humans are the primary beings that put shoes between our feet and the earth. Taking off your shoes and standing barefoot on the ground helps connect you to the energy flowing through the earth (especially if you’re barefoot in the grass or on sand).
Find a peaceful spot outside—a park, a quiet spot in your garden wherever your favorite outdoor space is. Shut your eyes and take 100 deep, soft breaths while feeling the sunlight on your face, the breeze on your body, and the warm heart of the ground via the soles of your feet.
3. Dine Outside
Take your lunch or a book outside to enjoy on a park seat or picnic blanket. While you dine or read, take in the fresh air and natural sunlight (or both).
4. Give A Tree A Hug
Which words come to mind when you think about trees? Sturdy? High? Statuesque? Tenacious? Primitive? The world's oldest trees have been alive for thousands of years, and we rely on them to create the oxygen we need to live.
Although the term "tree-hugger" is sometimes used ironically, hugging a tree is an easy method to boost your energy levels by mopping up all that energy and oxygen-rich deliciousness! Close your eyes and press your cheek on the trunk. Feel the bark on your flesh as you spread your arms to embrace the tree and contemplate nature.
If you’re not quite ready to hug a tree, you could visit a greenhouse or a flower shop. There you’re able to soak up all the fragrant beauty that lies within flowers.
Another way to connect with nature’s garden (especially if you’re in the city) is by paying attention to the tiny weeds and wildflowers that sprout up in sidewalk cracks. As you look at them, consider the persistence and perseverance of that small creature to take root and flourish in such a challenging environment. How can you use its example and connect to that type of strength within yourself?
So, there you have it, 4 ways to achieve inner peace by connecting to nature. You’ll be able to do it because it’s all about Making Time.
Let’s talk. How do you plan to connect to nature in order to achieve inner peace? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a facilitator, stress management coach and author of “Yes I’m Grateful,” a gratitude journal. She believes in empowering her clients to help them manage their stress and increase self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn