There’s nothing quite like stepping outside and taking a deep breath of fresh air. Maybe you notice that you feel more relaxed in nature, or you just love closing your eyes and listening to the comforting sounds around you.
You’re not alone, and there’s more science to back your feelings than you might realize.
Multiple studies have shown the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outside. In a fast-paced world where it often feels like everyone is behind a screen most of the time, escaping into the great outdoors can do so much for the mind and body.
It can also help you to realign yourself, spiritually.
Whether you’ve been feeling “off” in your spiritual strength, or you’re looking for inspiration to deepen that connection, spending more time in nature is one of the best things you can do. It’s a thoughtful choice that can make a big difference in your life
The Health Benefits of Nature
It’s easy to start with some of the obvious benefits of spending time outdoors. According to a Yale study, immersing yourself in nature has both physical and cognitive benefits. There’s a reason why so many mental health professionals encourage spending time outside for people who deal with anxiety and depression. Some of the common benefits associated with being in nature include:
- Improved mood
- Reduced stress
- More relaxation
- Boosted confidence
Spending time outdoors can also improve your physical health, inspire you to get active, and help you make new connections with others. You’ve undoubtedly heard how even a little sunlight can improve your mood (and you can even take things one step further
), so imagine how much more spending at least 30 minutes outside each day can do for you.
Connecting Your Mind and Body
It’s not just the mental and physical benefits that make nature so incredible. From a spiritual standpoint, being outside can make you feel more connected and revitalized.
The first step? Realize that you and nature are one. You are not two separate entities, and you are not a stranger whenever you immerse yourself in the outdoors. Your body is made up of the same energy that supports the planet around you. Recognizing that can instantly make you feel like a greater part of something wonderful.
Forming a connection with nature requires changing your mindset and recognizing it’s a part of your being. Once you do that, you can appreciate what’s around you with all of your senses. Try things like:
- Walking barefoot
- Watching the clouds
- Going swimming in a pond or the ocean
- Listening to the birds
- Meditating in a secluded place
The more you engulf yourself with your surroundings, the more connected you’ll feel. Realizing the majesty of everything around you will help you recognize your part in all of it. It can re-center your thinking and realign yourself from a spiritual standpoint.
How to Make the Most of Each Outdoor Experience
Once you’re more connected with nature, you’ll want to spend as much time outside as possible. Thankfully, there are countless ways to foster that connection both on your own, or with someone you love. Something like a camping trip with your partner is a fantastic way to strengthen your bond with your partner
as well as you’re surroundings. After all, nature is meant to be shared.
Whether you choose to spend your time in nature on your own or with someone you love, finding ways to deepen your connection will only foster a greater realignment of your spiritual health.
Everything from hiking to fishing can help you feel more connected with the elements around you. You can also integrate your hobbies into your experiences. For example, if you love photography, you can showcase the natural beauty of your surroundings by snapping a few photos
. Environmental photography is a great way to learn more about nature and feel more in tune with it while doing something you love.
You don’t have to go out into a heavily wooded area or a preserve to connect with nature. You can foster that connection in your own backyard. Build your ideal outdoor sanctuary, start a garden, or simply find a quiet spot to sit and observe what the world is doing around you.
The best thing you can do is to commit to nature. It’s far too easy to get distracted by the busy world. But, that can leave you feeling spiritually dull and longing for something more.
By dedicating yourself to a nature connection, you’ll realign your spirituality, feel a sense of fullness, and can even experience more peace thanks to the benefits of your surroundings. Be willing to let go of the idea that you and nature are at odds. Instead, recognize that you’re the same, and you’ll be fully able to fall into the comforting benefits that surround you outside.