Embracing Nature: The Transformative Power of Spending More Time Outdoors

In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, we often find ourselves entangled in a web of screens, schedules, and stressors. In fact, according to a 2001 study, the average American spends 90% of their lives indoors. Presumably, it has not gotten better. This affects our mood, health, and attention span.  The remedy to this frenetic pace lies just beyond our doors, beneath the open sky and amidst the rustling leaves. Stepping into nature resets our minds, bodies, and souls. Let’s delve into the myriad reasons why spending more time in nature can be transformative.

1. Reconnecting with the Rhythms of Nature

Our nervous systems developed with the sounds of birds, leaves, and wind.  Sirens and traffic aren’t just annoying, they are jarring to our well being.  Spending time outdoors offers a chance to tune into the soothing rhythms of birdsong, rustling leaves, and water. 

northern cardinal on tree in nature
Photo by Chris F on Pexels.com retrieved 8/31/23

2. Rejuvenating Mind and Body

The healing power of nature is well-documented. Studies show that spending time outdoors reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Immersing ourselves in natural environments  boosts mood and enhances cognitive function. Whether it’s a leisurely hike, a peaceful picnic, or simply sitting in front of a tree, nature heals. .

3. Cultivating Mindfulness

Nature is the ultimate mindfulness teacher. Simply sitting on your front porch is a sensory meditation.. Each rustle, scent, and shade of color becomes a canvas for our attention. Being mindful in nature teaches us to savor the moment, fostering a sense of gratitude for the simple yet profound beauty around us.

4. Fostering Creativity

Creativity flourishes in open spaces. Away from the confines of four walls, our minds are free to roam. Nature’s vibrant palette, intricate patterns, and hidden details inspire a creative flow that’s hard to replicate elsewhere. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, or simply someone seeking fresh perspectives, nature offers a limitless playground for your imagination.

5. Deepen Relationships 

Nature has a remarkable way of strengthening bonds. The lack of distractions as well as the awe of nature is unifying. Whether you’re sharing a campfire, embarking on a nature hike, or simply engaging in conversation under a starlit sky, these shared experiences forge deep connections. In a world that often encourages isolation, spending time outdoors invites us to connect and build relationships in meaningful ways.

anonymous female friends embracing on spacious meadow in nature
Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com retrieved 8/31/23

6. Awakening Awe and Wonder

Nature’s grandeur evokes a sense of awe that’s humbling and transformative. We’re reminded of our place in the vast universe when standing beneath towering trees or gazing at star-studded skies. This humility fosters introspection and a renewed sense of gratitude. .

In a world where schedules are jam-packed and screens dominate our attention, the call of nature is more compelling than ever. Embracing nature’s embrace isn’t just a leisure activity; it’s an investment in our well-being. So, let’s swap our screens for green time, our stress for serenity, and our worries for grass under our feet.  .

Are you interested in spending more time in nature? Join us for our Women’s Nature Retreat.

About the author: Sharon P. Fisher, MS, PMHNP-BC is a psychiatric nurse practitioner and nature informed therapist.

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