Nature is all around us. If we take a good look around, we are immersed in nature, whether it’s with our beloved pets or in our landscaped neighborhoods or even the plants in our yard. Nature is essential for our survival as well as our sense of well being and happiness. According to E. O. Wilson, “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” As humans we are interconnected with nature every day, whether we acknowledge it or not. On a continual basis, nature has a profound impact on our lives yet it is largely taken for granted. It even dictates how and what we eat by impacting which foods grow and are harvested each year. Our lives are predicated on the availability of our natural resources.
Nature Relieve Stress
We are greeted with fresh air and sunlight as we step outside to start our day. The wind on our face contains moisture that hydrates us and cools our skin and gives us a sense of peace. Renowned Professor and author, Richard Ryan states that: “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggest a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.” By connecting with nature, we are better able to connect to a part of our selves, often lost in the rush of our frantic hurried lives. Nature is a natural anti-depressant, helping us to recharge, reconnect and feel renewed.
Nature Influences Playtime
Think back to a time when we were kids. Nature provided our first playground. It gave us the leaves to pile up and jump into, trees to climb, rocks to skim. As kids, nature brought us joy and a sense of belonging. When was the last time you flew a kite? Watching the wind lift and carry it and trying to control the direction. Remember playing tag and Hide and Go Seek outside? The bushes and trees gave us a place to hide. Unfortunately today much of outdoor playtime is being replaced by indoor technology. Studies have shown that computer games, virtual reality devices and screen-centric games are unable to provide the same level of stimuli and cannot replicate the positive effects of spending time outside and amongst nature.
Nature Inspires Us
There are many beautiful masterpieces found in the nature around us. These magnificent works of art keep us from being focused on ourselves and remind us of our humanity. Have you ever watched an ant at work? Our every ecosystem works in perfect harmony and inspires us to see outside ourselves. We appreciate more of life when we see the manifestation of every organism living in perfect harmony in nature.
There are immeasurable life-giving benefits for spending more time in nature: relaxation, joy, and perspective, just to name a few. Nature reminds us of both our limitations and our potential. Spending time in nature tends to have a motivational effect on us and helps us to persevere, allowing us to take on a new perspective. By making it a priority to spend time in nature we let go of the stresses of our lives, develop a deeper sense of purpose and broaden our mind toward something greater.