Go Outside for a Dose of The Healing Power of Nature
June 4, 2013
When the domestic environment I grew up in was extremely toxic, I found myself going to the ocean, the rivers, the forests and the mountains. I didn’t know it then, but I do now – nature kept me sane when I might have gone crazy – in many ways it was my only escape.
Nature is a remarkable healing force. Few people think about our primal connection to it. What happens when we go for a walk outside – to the beach or a park? What’s the attraction? I can say that I always felt connected to the earth and sky, and though I didn’t consciously realize its healing force, at least for those few moments, I felt safe.
Studies show that spending time in nature provides physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. Ecotherapy (also known as green therapy, nature therapy, and earth-centered therapy) is proving to help children and adults – from ADD to cancer to depression, getting daily doses of the healing power of nature is recommended more and more by natural health practitioners.
I really don’t know what would have happened to me if I hadn’t lived where I lived – the ocean was a short walk from home, and I was lucky enough to hike in the woods in Carmel Valley. Then, when I got older, I went scuba diving and found another escape into the deep. I still dive and I still marvel at how exhilarated I feel underwater, and how refreshed I am when I return. I can’t imagine not having nature to turn to every day.
The benefits of trees, rivers, mountains and oceans go way beyond just creating temporary balance in life. This is where adventures are found and inspirations seem to come out of nowhere. I see and do things there that I would miss otherwise. I try to keep this in mind when I’m feeling down or stressed. Sometimes the solution to a problem or the cure for a minor tension is found just outside my front door, or in the woods, or at the beach. I am grateful for the magic, mystery and majesty of nature – my loyal friend and companion – always there, welcoming and waiting for me to come; to be healed.