Since man’s existence began, this planet has provided everything needed for our species to thrive—the air, water, and soil all play a key role in our survival. But our species hasn’t always been as kind to our planet as it has been to us.
The neglect and abuse we’ve shown our planet was recognized in 1970 with the first Earth Day being held in support of environmental protection. Since then, Earth Day has become an annual event held on April 22 each year.
While it’s nice to have that annual reminder we should be kind to our planet, we should be making friends with nature year round, as New York Times bestselling author Ilchi Lee discusses in his book, I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation.
Why Should We Make Nature a Part of Our Lives?
Nature can bring balance to our lives and being in it can be a great reality check for us. It reminds us to take a step back from our often busy and self-absorbed lives.
When you’re surrounded by ancient forests, mountains, and the oceans on a planet that is more than four billion years old, it’s easy to feel a little silly for being so obsessed with your own troubles and worries. It reminds us of how short our lives truly are in the grand scheme of things.
But even more than that, it’s a magnificent reminder that we’re actually a part of nature. We depend on it for our very existence. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can start developing our relationship with nature and give it the respect it deserves.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Being in Nature?
Being in nature can benefit our health on so many levels. From a spiritual standpoint, it does us a tremendous amount of good. Wondering about what’s out there and thinking about all the people who have stared at the same scenery we have throughout the centuries can be inspiring.
Simply meditating while sitting near the ocean or while gazing at a mountain in the distance can open our minds. Going for a walk in the forest can help us discover truths about ourselves and the paths that we’re on. While many of our everyday activities are meant to distract and entertain us, like watching television, playing a computer game, and going out for an evening meal, being in nature gives us a chance to drop all pretenses and reflect on where we’re at in life.
In our everyday lives, nature can help us unwind and destress. A quick walk can free your mind that’s cluttered with the long to-do list you have waiting for you at home or the impending deadlines you have at work. Feeling the warm sun on your skin is an instant pick-me-up and will let you soak up some much-needed Vitamin D, which is a crucial part of a healthy immune system.
All your senses are engaged by being in nature—your ears will pick up the sounds of birds singing, waves crashing, and animal sounds. Your eyes will be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty you see—the mountains, trees, and bodies of water are amazing views to behold. Your nose will appreciate the smells of the trees, water, and flowers.
In our busy lives though, it’s not always possible to be in nature as much as you’d like to. When life is simply too busy for you to even stop by a small park to get a quick nature fix, there are cheats you can do until your schedule unclutters a bit.
You can listen to nature CDs meant to provide you with the necessary tools for meditation, such as Nature Heals and Nature Awakens. You can do it from your own home on a rainy day, or you can indulge your mind and spirituality while you’re in your car on your daily commute to the office.
Make It a Priority
No matter how you choose to incorporate nature into your life, make it a habit, not a rarity. You’ll feel more relaxed, centered, and in tune with yourself and the world around you.
Unplug those devices and turn off the television so you can use your eyes, ears, nose, and your heart to reclaim your sense of purpose and belonging.