One of the underrated things to do is spend time in nature. If you see people doing several activities in nature, it might not be for fun alone. Some benefits come with it, such as improving your mental and physical health.
Here are some of these activities and their benefits
If you don’t know how to swim, you need to add it to your bucket list. While swimming can be a fun activity, it is another means of working out.
Swimming happens to be a profound low-impact exercise that allows people to remain fit even when they are injured. This activity stretches your muscles and enhances flexibility.
Additionally, you can destress by swimming, especially after having a long day or week. Staying in the water makes you feel calm, and it also comes with meditative perks.
Another healthy activity that should be in your plans is cycling. Just like swimming, it is an awesome lower-body workout that works your calves, hamstrings, and quads.
Cycling also improves your cardiovascular health. According to studies, cycling also improves your mood and helps you de-stress faster.
Yoga is one of those underrated activities that has the perfect combination of fun and physical exercise. If you’ve been craving peace and you need a mood changer, you can consider outdoor yoga.
While you practice yoga, you will breathe in fresh air which allows you to connect with your inner self and leverage the wellness that nature provides.
If you love taking a walk, then you might prefer hiking. Hiking is a fun activity that benefits your cardiovascular health. It is a great way to improve your bone density and improve muscle coordination. Some people undergo hiking anytime they want to tap into their creative self.
Apart from the activities mentioned here, you can consider gardening, paddling, forest bathing, etc. However, these activities have a unified goal- they help you fare better both physically and mentally.
Nature comes with some healing abilities that can put mental illnesses at bay. The amazing part about Nature therapy is, that it comes at an inexpensive price. This means that it is mostly free to use.
Many people suffer from mental health problems and one of the mistakes that such people make is to find an easier way out through unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Here are some ways that you can use to treat mental illness with nature
The use of plants
Caring for plants in your home comes with benefits for your mental health. Apart from the fact that plans eliminate toxins in the air, studies have shown that people who care for plants learn how to extend it to other people.
This means they are likely to have healthier relationships and display empathy and compassion to people around them.
Paintings of nature
Another way to leverage nature is to get a painting of nature. This could come in form of natural scenes, gardens, awesome landscapes, etc. When you keep viewing good paintings of nature, you are less likely to experience stress.
You can go on an adventure in nature. It might be rock climbing, etc. It is best to do this in a group of people so that they would look out for you. Spending ample time in nature doing adventure therapy can reduce the symptoms of some mental health problems.
When you have animals under your care, it can help treat mental disorders. This is one of the reasons why therapists recommend that patients get animals like dogs, cats, and horses and care for them.
In the long run, you will discover that you will learn some skills that would be essential in caring for your mental health.
Apart from the types of natural therapies mentioned in this article, there are others that you can still use to treat your mental health problem. You can discuss with your healthcare provider or therapists to use what works for you.
At some points in our life, we crave to fully tap into the benefits that nature have to offer. And this comes in two ways, you would either want to enjoy nature with family and friends, or all by yourself.
Research has shown that there are health benefits of nature that we are not aware of. And people who live close to natural features have a healthier lifestyle than those who do not.
Below are some benefits of nature:
- Stress reduction: Spending ample time in nature helps to reduce stress. Based on studies, exposing yourself to nature after a stressful occurrence, helps to reduce the physiological effects of stress. The stress-reducing effects of nature extends to various aspects of our lives.
For people in the workplace, those who have a closer view to nature, tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, having reduced level of stress than others.
- Feel energized: Spending time in nature also makes you feel energized. Research has revealed that humans have a positive disposition towards nature, and this involves pleasurable feelings, retained interest and attention, and a decline in negative emotions like anxiety and anger.
This feeling of energy bust is needed in academic and professional settings, it also comes in handy in our personal lives.
- Clear your head: When we are exposed to nature, the brain is enhanced to think better. The excess activity that goes on in the nervous system is reduced and we feel more relaxed. Nature helps to provide restoration to the brain.
- Recovery from mental fatigue: Sitting for a couple of hours for meeting or work can take a toll on your mental health. And it is best you combat this by exposing yourself to nature. Enjoying nature helps to step-up your creativity and makes difficult work easier for you.
- Quicker recovery rates in hospitals: Research has shown that patients who have access to natural scenery view have faster recovery rates than others. They required fewer medications for pain killers, evaluation results were better and they had fewer complications.
Your purpose is what you are meant to do in this world. We might all have similar purposes, but they are distinctly different. In the fulfilment of purpose, one fact you will realize is, if you are on the right path, it would be easier for you to fulfill your purpose.
For you to fulfil your purpose, you need to use your talents and skills to assist those who are around you. It might be quite challenging for you to fulfill if you do not know how to proceed.
People often have a problem understanding their purpose. As a matter of fact, they do not know what it entails. This is why people are encouraged to undergo self-reflection every now and then. This would allow them to know what they are cut out for.
If you are someone who seems to give freely without minding if you have enough or not, this could imply that your purpose is giving.
For people who are in this position, they do not necessarily need to have much. All they need is something basic for them and that’s it, they do not mind giving the rest to people around them.
A good understanding of your purpose is your own contribution to making the world a better place. Each person has their role to play in this life and this determines to a large extent if the world would become better or not.
For you to help yourself, it is important to get a mentor. Typically, a mentor is someone who has gone ahead of you, they have experienced a whole lot. Mentors serve as co-captains that help you to steer your life in the right direction.
With a mentor by your side, it becomes easy to understand your purpose and also fulfill it. It is also vital to make efforts to improve in various facets of your life. It is impossible for you to give what you do not have, so it is necessary to see growth and improvement as a crucial ingredient for a purpose-filled life.
THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF NATURE
There is definitely a good reason why staying outdoor in nature would feel so relaxing and good. The fact is it is indeed good for our health on varying levels.
A health study showed that a good number of people who usually spent ample time being exposed to greenspace, such as undeveloped land which has natural vegetation, led to a great reduction in the blood pressure of the diastole’s, the heart rate, diabetes, and a good number of other diseases.
The chances of premature birth also occurring, also reduced in pregnant women, and also the chances of having small-sized babies. There were reports of good health which occurred among those that were exposed to greenspace.
The World Health Organization (WHO), has opined that woods, parks and the likes, usually impact oxygen to the air whilst removing air pollution. They also aid in the moderation of temperature in cities, and they make the environment more enabling so that people can exercise safely, and also foster better social interaction.
In addition to this, spending more time in Greenspace (nature), also helps to improve the mental health, as it reduces the imbalances in health, and improves well-being. Some research has also shown that physical activity which is undergone in a natural environment, also aids in easing depression.
Now, another health effect of nature is, spending ample time in nature, has been seen to improve sleep, and boost the immune system to function better. This is most likely the reason why gardeners tend to live longer than regular individuals, because they spend more time in nature.
Exposure to nature improves our health with the integration of Vitamin D which produces sunlight. The nutrient produced, is essential for all health aspects of our body.
Furthermore, if you want to spend more time in nature, you can turn it to a form of exercise, by undergoing activities such as swimming, cycling, rock climbing and the likes. Since we are all aware of the benefits inherent in exercising, we can be sure that there are additional benefits when they are done in nature.
Nature is also filled with fresh air, which is good for the internal organs of the body.
Conclusively, for a longer and healthy lifestyle, spending time in nature has an integral role to play.
Looking at nature in a broader sense, it can be defined as the physical, natural, material world, or the universe. Nature also refers to the physical world, and also life generally. The study and inquiry into nature is very broad, and it can be said to be an important aspect of science. Even the existence of humans is part of nature, the activity of humans is most times understood as a distinct category from other aspects of nature.
Looking at the difference uses of nature today, it could refer to wildlife and geology. It can also refer to the conventional realm where plants and animals live. Also, it could infer the processes which are linked with inanimate objects.
Also, nature could also mean the way whereby certain categories of things exist, and change by their own will, this refers to the geology and weather of the Earth. It could also mean the natural environment that have not been affected by the intervention of humans.
Now, it should be known that some manufactured objects should not be regarded as a part of nature. However, the process behind their creation still boils down to nature. Hence, it can be said that all of our activities are either directly or indirectly affected by nature.
Looking at the fact that humans are only a minute aspect of the grand living biomass on Earth, the effect which humans have on nature, is very large, due to the influence of humans, the already set boundaries which are between what humans refer to as nature, and artificial environments, is no longer clearly differentiated except when it gets to the extreme.
In addition to this, even at the extremes, the volume of natural environment which is devoid of the influence of humans, is decreasing at a very fast rate.
The influence of technology has also had an effect on nature, and it has assisted the human race in exploiting nature to a point where the constituents of nature have been exposed to greater risk than normal. As expected, no one wants to stop learning, hence, each time, there are inquiries into some yet-to-be understood aspects of nature.
Connectedness is not defined in one way alone. Being connected is a multifaceted state of being that is made up of many elements. It describes someone who maintains meaningful connections, and it also describes the state of connectivity between all elements of life. Connectivity can be spiritual or practical, but it is always essential to the design of our universe in more ways than one.
Human connections, as well as connections with animals and nature, are the personal ones that people are familiar with. Forming connections is very important to people and we spend a great deal of energy pursuing and building them. Connections form our relationships, which offer us comfort, happiness, security and peace. The connections we form have a profound influence on the trajectory of our lives, as well as how we see ourselves and how we interact with the world.
Connectivity also refers to the way all elements of life interact with one another. Some people are aware of these interactions and others are not, but they are indeed real and valid. An example of how things are interconnected would be as follows: humans affect climate change, rising temperatures cause the destruction of forests through fire, the destruction of forests increase cases of depression within people and people become less effective in general due to depression. Connectivity is the symbiosis that occurs between all elements of life, great and small, physical and metaphysical, natural and supernatural.
Connections facilitate life force at every level, from a cellular one to a global one. Connections are essentially life giving because they represent relationship and recognition between two interacting things. However, this does not mean that a connection cannot be negative. The connection that a significant other has with an abusive partner is neither healthy nor life giving. Some connections are better of severed. But this does not mean that connections should not be made.
To adage “there is only one you” is commonly seen in hallmark cards and heard in unoriginal conversations, but this simple saying actually expresses a profound truth. There are hundreds to thousands of components that go into making a person who they are. With this range of possibilities, there is an infinite number of people who can exist and still never exactly resemble another person. Not two people will live identically, think identically or contribute identically as long as humanity exists. This means what you seek to keep for yourself and what you seek to contribute to the world are completely unique to you.
What you seek to keep for yourself is related to your own personal happiness. The inner life that a person leads needs to be nourished and cared for. A person needs to achieve some level of comfort, security, provision and happiness to feel balanced and peaceful. Half of everything we do in life feeds these needs. No two people go about meeting these needs in quite the same way.
What a person seeks to contribute to the world is related to their altruistic nature. The ways that they want to give back, use their talents and skills to be of use and make a positive difference in the world are the ways they want to contribute to something bigger than them. Again, this is an endeavor that is purely individualistic and does not resemble anyone else’s contributions to the world.
A person’s inherent purpose is something that satisfies both pursuits; the pursuit to please the self and the pursuit to contribute to the world. It is possible for every person to discover something that gives them immense personal satisfaction while also contributing to a necessary communal cause. It is every person’s journey to discover what that vocation is and pursue it.
Most people are keen on acknowledging that there is a grand design to the natural and supernatural world. The origin of the grand design is debatable, but the recognition of the design is universal. The elements of the universe, the ecosystem of our biosphere and the spiritual life force that exist here are all part of it. Acknowledging the connections between all elements of life and seeing how they fit together is part of grasping the true nature of our reality. It is impossible to see our world clearly and not accept that everything affects everything else. Those who appreciate the connections between life’s various elements have insight into the true nature of things.
Though all things are interconnected, the natural world and the supernatural world have different natures. The natural world is governed by natural processes, which have laws, or at least traditions if not laws. Natural processes as we know them are largely predictable. All organisms require sustenance, and all natural elements interact with one another and affect one another. Everything physical that takes place is governed by natural laws.
The supernatural, on the other hand, is far more unpredictable. The supernatural is made up of consciousness, metaphysical energies and entities, and soulfulness. These things are much less quantifiable than natural elements. They are less predictable, less easily measured and harder to obtain data on. In fact, some people believe they are imaginary rather than grounded in reality.
When you put these two realities together, you have the clearest picture possible of reality. Reality is the interaction between the physical and metaphysical world. This is the grand design that composes all elements of life as we understand it. We cannot understand reality from the vantage point of a dog or a tree, but we can understand reality as determined by the human condition, and that reality observes ourselves as intelligent, observant beings interacting with each other and with all of nature in accordance with our free will. The design of reality becomes apparent in the interactions between these elements.
One part of appreciating the world around you in all its glory is appreciating the people within it. It is human nature to put ourselves at the center of the universe in importance and the put the importance of others after ourselves. However, it has been revealed that this is not a healthy way of living. We are, in fact, much more in tune with the natural order of things when we remain aware of the value of each soul. Properly valuing every person, animal and other natural body makes us wiser and more aware of the world around us, as well as giving us a healthy, symbiotic relationship with all life forms.
The need for people to respect other people is profound. Humans are the most intelligent species on the planet, and therefore the ones with the most free will. Recognizing in one another the potential for greatness, as well as the inherent complexity and genius, that lies within each person is necessary to a proper understanding of others. It is incorrect to assume that because someone has different abilities, they are lesser or greater than another. We are all equipped with unique, meaningful talents and levels of awareness. No two people are meant to serve an identical function. Grasping this is very important to an appreciation of every human life.
People are not the only life forms that warrant respect and appreciation. Animals, plants and arguably, other elements of nature all deserve certain levels of respect. Studies on animals have revealed that they are confirmed to have certain levels of consciousness, meaning that whatever metaphysical stuff we are made of, animals are made of similar metaphysical stuff. This means they deserve the same respect and protection as life forms that people do. Plants, bugs and other organisms that are limited in cell count are not conscious the way humans and animals are, yet they still lead lives of value, contributing immensely to the ecosystem and biosphere. This means they also deserve respect and room to flourish freely.