The Benefits of Nature
My love of nature began when I was about nine years old. I shared a bedroom with my older sister and the room was quite long and narrow. We placed our twin beds (single beds so why are they called twin is still a mystery to be solved) with the headboards back-to-back. This divided the room so we each had our own little space.
Within the area of my mini-bedroom, I set up a table with plants. One of the plants was called “baby tears” but I have not been able to find another plant today that looks as I remember it. I do not know why but I was so comforted by those little plants. My childhood was dysfunctional, and I had anxiety from the time I was four years old. Those plants gave me some type of connection and I felt happy when I cared for them.
Today, I absolutely need nature in my life. Unknowingly, I have been surrounding myself with nature for years. While talking with a friend, who happened to be an interior decorator, I became aware of this. She was telling me that most people have a theme in their home. I was curious. I asked her if I had a theme. She acted surprised and said, “Really? You don’t know?” I was clueless. She told me to look around and describe what I saw. “Leaves, tree branches, more leaves, plants, more trees, etc., etc., etc. I surround myself with it intentionally now that I am aware of its effects.
Nature calms and comforts me.
When I step into nature, I immediately experience peace. The fast pace of my life slows down and during these moments, I am relaxed. The stress and demands of daily living have no place when I am walking in the woods. I choose to set them aside while I enjoy the trees.
Nature quiets my mind.
My favorite thing to do is sit on a log or bench and either journal or sketch while in the woods. The stillness has profound effects. If I am lucky, I will see some small creatures going about their tasks and I get to observe from a distance.
Nature reminds me that I am part of something bigger than myself.
We all get wrapped up in our own lives. My little problems can sometimes appear larger than they really need to be. When I sit here in nature and I look around, I feel small. I know that I am not all that matters and that is a good thing.
Nature doesn’t judge or criticize me.
Nature is organic and varied. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could accept one another in the same way? No judgment, just acceptance. I feel accepted and acceptable in nature. I can be who I am and that is enough.
Nature reminds me to just breathe.
Life is simple and doesn’t need to be complicated. We complicate our lives all on our own, but nature reminds me to simplify. I think about what is important to me and try to remember my priorities. When I am stressed, I close my eyes and breathe while picturing nature all around me.
Nothing else compares to going for a walk in nature and if I could start each day in the woods, I would do just that. The next best thing is to bring a little nature into my home however possible.
Nature makes a room feel cozy and warm and alive.
I like to have plants in every room. If I do not have any sunlight available, I use an artificial plant. When I am outside walking, I will often bring home branches or leaves that I collect and put them in a vase. I have a wooden bowl on my counter that is great for pinecones, leaves, and fruit. Most of my pictures hanging on the wall include leaves or trees or some kind of nature theme. Bringing nature into my home helps me to experience the benefits each day.
Experience the benefits of nature for yourself.
Try going for a walk in the woods. There are trails everywhere. Collect some natural items to bring home or go to a nursery and buy a plant. Start a nature journal. Press some flowers. Take a moment to appreciate what nature can do for you.
Related blog: The Calming Nature of Nature
The image was taken by Noah Buscher and can be found on Unsplash.