Connect With Nature For Better Health

To connect with nature is a profoundly important requirement for human health.  More and more studies exist that have identified several ways in which we are positively influenced by being in natural and peaceful surroundings, and getting adequate fresh air and sunshine.  

While healthy eating is an important component to minimizing risk of disease, and maintaining health and vibrancy as we age, being barefoot on the Earth herself may be just as important.

Connect with nature for better mental and physical healthTrees along the Chicago lakefront. Photo courtesy & copyright of Barbara Pederson

The authors of Earthing, The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? write, "Our investigations strongly suggest that the incidence of soaring chronic diseases during our lifetimes has occurred during a period in which more and more people have become increasingly disconnected from the Earth."

At one point I created a blog called Earth Girl Rx.  The URL for that is now merged with the Trust Your True Nature site.  The intention for the Earth Girl Rx section of the website is to present various 'prescriptions' for remaining grounded, and creating harmonious environments that are more nurturing and supportive of our health and ability to realize our full potential.  

Earth Girl was a moniker created to reflect that childlike sense of wonder, innocence, and joy that most of us experience(d) as children when we would connect with nature.  

I know personally, I would feel more centered and at peace when I played outdoors, especially among the trees.  They were like friends to me, providing solace when I felt alone.

When we live more mindfully ~ paying attention to our physical needs and not just the willful ego ~ we remain more present, and experience greater calm and ease in our lives.

Taking time to connect with nature while tuning inwards to simply check in with how we are feeling can help us reduce anxiety, and better manage stress, or difficult emotions as well.

As the authors of Earthing discuss, grounding can reduce inflammation as well. Many people who have been using the Earthing pads, sheets, patches, or throw covers, have experienced healing of varied conditions that other standard and alternative treatments were not able to resolve.

To connect with nature stirs us at a cellular ~ and soul level ~ especially when the soles of our feet are touching the ground.  

When it is really impossible to get outdoors on a regular basis, a guided visualization can help with grounding as well.  Be sure to look for our upcoming guided healing meditation audio files.

Getting out as close to sunrise as possible, when the grass is still dewey, is one of the best times to connect with nature.  You get the hormonal balancing health benefits of the early sun, which increases the release of serotonin ~ a mood boosting hormone that promotes a calm, focused energy, reduces depression and anxiety, and has been shown in studies to help improve fertility, and weight regulation, in addition to the many healing benefits from grounding with the earth.  

(Learn more about Earthing by clicking the link below, or in the side bar.)

Experience the power of reconnecting to the Earth

While the Earth Girl in me ponders how we got to a place where we need science to remind us to connect with nature, the studies can be of great value when applied to helping us create more healing and restorative environments ~ as suggested in Health Impacts of Healing Environments ~ A review of evidence for benefits of nature, daylight, fresh air, and quiet in a healthcare setting, an excellent review written by Agnes E. van den Berg.

This section of Earth Girl Rx will emphasize the many ways in which getting outdoors to connect with nature is medicinal to our physical and mental/emotional health ~ as important as eating a healthy diet, and connecting with friends, family and each other in the spirit of community as well.  

One of the visions for this site is to create a members forum where people from every where can gather to learn about topics affecting our health and the many challenges we all face, personally and collectively.

One goal for the forum will be to help people transform their lives and health by adopting the TYTN Diet Plan, age and strength appropriate fitness and mobility routines, and using guided meditations, or other therapies as needed, including TYTN Coaching for any personal life challenges and goals, and working through unresolved emotional issues, TYTN Health Coaching for weight loss and health improvement, or any of our other services.

For those interested in learning how to meditate, or in becoming certified to teach meditation, I highly recommend Anmol Mehta's program.  

I completed his 200 hour yoga teacher certification, which included many meditations, and breathing techniques.  

He is immensely generous with content, videos, and all you need to learn how to mediate, or if interested, to learn how to create a yoga practice, or become a certified yoga teacher from the comfort of your own home for a minuscule fraction of the cost available anywhere!

In addition to connecting with nature, creating nurturing, clean, safe, and welcoming home and work environments that are harmonious to our needs and well-being is important in helping us have as much working for us as possible.  Maintaining a certain modicum of cleanliness and orderliness keeps your mind more clear and focused, and helps build self-confidence and self-reliance. 

This concept of maintaining cleanliness and order is called Saucha in Sanskrit, one of the five niyamas, which are part of the eight limbs of yoga.  It refers to having purity of mind and body as well as of home and is one of the lifestyle practices recommended for living a great, or more aligned life. It is likewise recommended as part of a macrobiotic practice which also emphasizes using natural materials in your home and on your body, and eliminating toxic chemicals in all of your cleaning products.

Our desire is to reach those truly motivated to improve their health and quality of life by offering  the equivalent of having a private personal trainer, coach and health practitioner  combined at a much more down to earth price, all done in a community setting where people can connect and find support with others as well.

Connect with family and loved onesConnecting with family in nature is important for our health! Photo copyright by Barbara Pederson

Studies have shown that patients in healthcare settings heal quicker when they have a view of nature, are next to a garden, and are surrounded by peaceful nature sounds.  Even pictures of nature can have a beneficial impact.  

There is no doubt as to the importance of getting outdoors to connect with Nature, for our mental, emotional, and physical sense of wellbeing.

Chicago shoreline photo by Barbara Pederson

Being in healing and restorative environments helps us minimize stress, recover from illness quicker, and improve our moods.  Since stress is a leading cause and risk factor in so many health conditions, this is huge.  As Agnes van den Berg writes in his report, knowledge of this was once widely applied as evidenced by the various healing centers that have been created in earlier times, tracing back to the Asclepieia in ancient Greece.

The Asclepieia is considered the first healing center of Europe.  It was built as a temple dedicated to Asclepius, the god of health and healing. They understood the power of nature to heal, especially being near a water element, favoring wooded locations near natural hot or cold springs as the best sites for healing.  

According to an article published in the US National  Library of Medicine on behavioral sciences, "Physical settings can play a role in coping with stress; in particular experimental research has found strong evidence between exposure to natural environments and recovery from physiological stress and mental fatigue....Natural environments elicit greater calming responses than urban environments....Exposure to natural scenes mediates the negative effects of stress reducing the negative mood state and above all enhancing positive emotions."

He goes on to say that "one can recover (from) the decrease of cognitive performance associated with stress, especially reflected in attention tasks..." 

Early sun exposure and connecting with nature is vitally  important to our healthEarly sun exposure is free of the harmful UV rays, and can help us recharge, and improve our moods and sleep.

Studies have been conducted on children at schools, in prisons, hospitals and the work place.  Those that were able to spend time outdoors (such as school kids) or had window views of nature showed many benefits including:

  • greater attention and cognitive functioning
  • better wellbeing
  • quicker recovery rates
  • less stress, whether work-related, or among prisoners and those recovering in hospitals
  • fewer head aches
  • better moods
  • less mental fatigue

Whether you live in an urban area or not, find a way to connect with nature ~ your health depends upon it in more ways than you know!  

We may have 'evolved' to being urban dwellers, but our true home and source of sustenance and connection has always been Nature  ~ our precious earth.

Nature has always been my healing balm.  I will be creating wonderful guided meditation audio files to help you 'connect' ~ even while you are indoors ~ with the restorative powers of nature.   

This subconscious mind communicates with imagery and symbols, and doesn't discern between what we consider 'real' versus 'imagined.'  Hence why the use of guided imagery can be a potent therapeutic tool for reframing negative thought patterns that sabotage our health and our lives.  

As they say, 'whatever you can believe, you can achieve.'  My healing guided meditations will take you on a journey to nature that will leave you feeling restored and refreshed, as if you were away on a retreat.  

Be sure to bookmark this page to be alerted when these wonderful audio files are made available.

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