These times have left people just trying to get through the days, weeks, and months. Clinging to what one knows is the go-to response whenever you feel the discomfort of change and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the past is not as accommodating as it should be. This makes survival more a matter of reconciling what you had, where you are, and what you want from the future.
The best way to achieve this is to find something that has been consistent through the different stages and is set to remain the same. Hence, this is the right time to explore the calming aspects of nature. Reconnecting with the environment has healing principles for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Realigning with Nature – Your Way
Before starting your journey to a calm and peaceful place, first understand what parts of nature work best for your unique essence. Some people prefer the freedom of water; others enjoy the stillness of mountains. By better defining who you are, you know where to start in finding the particular parts of the natural world that will resonate most deeply with you. Here are seven of the most effective ways to achieve alignment with nature.
1. Take a walk
When looking for a place to walk, go for the areas with the least amount of concrete if possible. Search for recommended trails or paths and the time it will take to get through them. This way, by the time you leave the house, you can notify someone how long you’ll be away. This allows you to switch off your phone and just focus on the nature around you.
If you can make this a regular habit, all the better. Base your walks/hikes on available time, emotions, or state of mind. But remember, while a thick forest is more promising in the diverse forms of nature you’ll encounter, safety always supersedes serenity.
2. Grow something
One of the leading causes of imbalance is stagnation. Understandably, feeling like the world is not moving can be frustrating and exhausting. The problem is you don’t always have a scale to measure progress, and some situations and accomplishments just can’t be quantified.
Starting a garden or even just growing a plant gives you the chance to see something develop and mature. The plants then become a manifestation of growth beyond the garden and onto other areas of life. This brings a great sense of reward and accomplishment in a time when it feels like everything is “stuck.”
There is something that happens when you simply focus on your breathing. Maybe it’s the realization that those consecutive puffs are a gift or that they’re the most basic sign of life. Whatever the reason, take the time to listen.
If you’re lucky enough to have some greenery around, consider breathing “with” the plants. As you release carbon dioxide, the plants take it in and in return, give you oxygen. Sit with this for a moment and let the clean air fill your lungs. Pay attention to how clean air feels, how your body reacts to the intentional supply of perfectly refreshing oxygen.
4. Kiss the ground
OK, maybe not literally. Instead, allow your feet to feel the beauty and stability of the ground beneath us. Reconnecting with nature doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. Step on soil, sand, or grass with your bare feet and soak in the feeling. Stepping on soil leads to an electron exchange that’s great for stress reduction.
For some people, dirt can be especially uncomfortable. In case you feel this way, this isn’t for you. The point of the process is to restore order and bring alignment, so pass and find another way to restore your equilibrium.
5. Play with animals
Pets are an accessible source of relief and a perfect way to connect with the natural world. When you happily interact with cuddly animals like dogs and cats, your body releases oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Even watching birds at a feeder can bring healing.
6. Listen to the water
Consider visiting your local river or waterfall and sit in silence as the water finds its way through the rocks. Natural water sources are an embodiment of the beauty and limitlessness of nature.
The sound of flowing water, in particular, affects the body (evidenced by the increased urge to urinate that many people experience around rushing water!). If you pay attention to the flow, you can redirect that side-effect and make it work for your good. Or opt for a less-noisy lake or pond. Being near water always feels great.
7. Grow a houseplant
Those who don’t have access to extensive forms of nature can still bring a bit of the serenity into the picture. Find a houseplant that works for your schedule and space. You’ll have a ready-made tool to help you reconnect with nature whenever you please.
Animals, water, plants, and other forms of nature offer a chance to get away from draining routines. With any of these ideas, you’ll find yourself experience an increased sense of balance and realignment. Also, you get to change up your days and make them more vibrant!
Photo: Wikimedia Commons