Updated: Dec 10, 2019
Guest Post by Sami Aaron:
Each of us has an all-time favorite place in nature.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and ask your heart, if you could be anywhere in the out-of-doors on this glorious planet, where would it be? For the next few minutes, imagine that you could step softly into this place.
What season do you love to experience here? How do the temperature, breeze, and humidity feel against your skin?
What colors, forms, shapes, and patterns do you see here? What catches your eye and makes you smile?
As you inhale, what aromas do you remember? How does it make you feel to imagine this scent in every breath?
What sounds are drifting around you there? If you soften your sense of hearing, what music might you notice in this place?
How does it feel?
As you focus on how it feels to open all your senses to the memory of this place in nature, what happens to your breathing? To the furrows at your eyebrows? To tension at your jawline?
That’s right, even the memory of special times in the woods, by a stream, or along the ocean shoreline can have a powerful calming and centering effect on our everyday lives. Did you know that you can intentionally set the stage in your home and office to have these stress-reducers at hand at all times?
And it’s not just your imagination that thinks that time spent in the natural world is good for you. There are thousands of studies that confirm what your heart and mind know.
The Resilient Activist’s EnviroTip, Benefits of Time Spent in Nature, has quick links to articles on the positive impact from nature on such diverse topics as recovery from surgery, creative reasoning, cardiovascular relaxation, depression, and kindness.
Bring the healing power of nature into your life
Simple steps can have a big impact, so start small and see what appeals to you.
Begin with the colors, images, aromas, textures, and sounds that your memory bank adores from that favorite place in nature.
Visualize how you could experience this scene in your home and office: Objects … artwork … photographs … natural scents … music and sound recordings; there is no limit and there are no right or wrong ways to do this.
Just set an intention to begin to notice what you would love to walk by in your hallway or to touch as you move past a bookshelf. What would be delightful to see as you opened the curtains each morning and to glance at as you settled into bed at night?
You’re worth it
It can help to remember our true nature - that we are human animals with an intrinsic connection to our five senses in every moment. These senses are there to inform us if there is danger or if we are safe, if we need to be on alert or if we can relax.
When we intentionally set up our physical spaces to uplift and support our senses, the benefits are immeasurable. So as you remove clutter and reorganize your living spaces, go a step further and intentionally bring in what your heart, mind, and body crave: NATURE.
Five Essentials for a Resilient World
This article focuses on the first of the Five Essentials for a Resilient World: Reconnect to Nature. Visit The Resilient Activist to learn about the other four essentials and how you can easily incorporate them into your life!
Sami Aaron is the founder of the nonprofit, The Resilient Activist: A Joyful, Nature-Connected Community. The Resilient Activist offers stress-management and resilience programs for those who are fearful, anxious, fatigued or overwhelmed about the climate crisis. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.