We all know (at least if you are reading this, you probably do) that we feel better after time in nature. Just why that is though, often eludes us. Here are my thoughts, and I'd love to hear yours!
- There is a theory called "biophilia hypothesis", and it's a theory I love! It suggests that we feel good in nature, because we evolved in it. It is, quite literally, in our DNA to NEED time with nature - it makes us feel good, it helps us function better in this crazy world we have created for ourselves. And it helps keep us sane.
- Time slows. It is said that "time waits for no man" - but if you want it to at least SEEM slower, then get outside, walk amongst the trees, swim in a river, whatever it is, get back to nature. Let your worries slip away, and if possible, for a day or so, forget "man-made time" - put away your watch, your phone, and live with the rhythms of day and night.
- The simple reminder of death that nature brings - the circle of life, the changing of seasons - helps us to appreciate our life, and all the good things in it. It is often only when faced with the thought of mortality that we wake up to our very "aliveness". As someone who had an all too close brush with "dread disease" I can testify to this. But the reminder that nature provides us with is usually more subtle (unless you're watching a lion hunt in Kruger, when it's, you know, in your face!) - and leaves a happy contentment.
- Stillness. Just the thought of a still mind usually helps to calm us - the real deal is a blessed relief. In nature, a still mind is a real possibility. Respite from our stressed out, material world is at your fingertips in the forest, and there are few people who couldn't do with that.
- Nature reminds us of our interconnectedness - not just with each other, but with the planet. Knowing you are not alone, knowing you are part of a "bigger picture" is a great comfort.
Now, let me know your thoughts - what does being "at one with nature" do for you?