The Power of Nature - March 21, 2022
Spending time in nature has the power to reduce stress and improve your overall wellbeing. According to research, “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings”. What a beautiful way to practice selfcare! As spring approaches here in Michigan, I can already feel the difference - the sun shining, the smell of the air, the warmer breezes… It feels like to time to start working in the garden. Feeling the approaching spring weather and the anticipation of being able to spend more time outdoors already improves my mood.
Taking a break in nature helps our brains recharge and refresh after a lot of stimulation. For example, if you work on your computer (in front of a screen) for long blocks of time, it’s really helpful to switch up your environment. Going outside, or looking out a window, allows your eyes and brain to adjust to looking a longer distance and viewing natural light instead of the lights in the office. Taking a break in nature can even boost our productivity. Research has found that “being exposed to natural environments improves working memory, cognitive flexibility and attentional control…”, something that benefits all of us.
Ephemeral (or temporary) art is another great way to get the healing benefits of nature and strengthen your creativity at the same time. There are many artists who use natural elements as their primary source of materials, building beautiful structures and compositions that won’t last forever. Andy Goldsworthy is an artist who uses the materials around him to create amazing temporary art and says, “We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.” So, if you are looking for a self-care idea to reconnect, try a walk in nature.
Spend some time in nature and create your own ephemeral art. Gather twigs, rocks, and leaves and arrange them in a symmetrical mandala. Or simply look for the beauty in nature and snap a photograph as a reminder of that feeling. If you have the opportunity, find a window that allows the sun to flood in and meditate for a few
minutes - soak in the sunshine.