We experience stress and frustration every day, but if it overwhelms us, we end up debilitated. Stress takes a toll on our psyche and bodies, especially as we approach our later years.
Many of us have also become slaves to electronics, with our eyes focused on cell phones, computers, and TV screens. We have reduced the time we spend outdoors, in nature, and it can cause an adverse effect on our mental and physical health.
Health risks from using electronic devices include vision problems, neck issues and even cancer. Moreover, the negative messaging that we are subjected to in the news is in surplus these days. It assaults our senses and can cause us to become depressed or anxious.
Fortunately, we can counteract these attacks with the healing power of nature.
A reflexologist I know recommends spending as much time as possible near the ocean. Time breathing sea air neutralizes the unhealthy waves and emissions that come from our overuse of electronic devices.
As kids, we spent most of our time outdoors. Remember how we used to play outside all day? We wouldn’t come home until the sun came down, even in bad weather. It kept us healthy, in shape, and in touch with the natural world.
Even if you lived in an urban environment, you were still out in the dirt and under the big blue sky. But then we grew up, went to work and began to spend more time inside.
Some older adults never venture outside at all. They stay safe and isolated in their own little cubicles and often find themselves depressed. The best cure for that depression is to take a walk outdoors to breathe in the fresh air because the healing power of nature is rejuvenating and lifts up our spirits.
Doctors sometimes write prescriptions for time to be spent in the park. They know that when patients spend time near mountains, wild life and water it will lower their blood pressure.
Studies in Japan have showed that people who live near a forested area had lower rates of lung, breast, uterine, prostate, kidney and colon cancer.
The Japanese also bathe in the forest because it reduces stress, increases immunity, and helps to manage diabetes.
When you connect with the Earth in a natural setting, the encounter improves your sleep, heals wounds faster, reduces pain, stress and blood viscosity. Former soldiers have found that spending time outdoors reduces their episodes of PTSD.
Older women who experience stress-related belly fat caused by a build-up of cortisol can reduce its effects simply by spending more time in nature.
It helps if you can spend time in a spectacular setting like Lake Louise, in Banff, Canada. But what if you live and work in the concrete jungle? Start by going on a daily walk. Even big cities have trees, bushes, birds, and parks. Find a hiking trail. Sit on a rock near a pond and meditate.
Plant a garden and tend it yourself. Don’t let your gardener get all the health benefits.
Place potted plants and flowers in your home and office. Even images of nature on the wall are calming. Patients in hospitals often feel less pain when a potted plant is next to their bed.
Collect natural objects like seashells, rocks and crystals and add them to your home decor. Crystals and other gems are said to have healing properties. They are beautiful to look at and create a serene environment.
The practice of Feng Shui uses the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water to allow chi or qi – the energy of the Universe – to flow for more positive outcomes.
Here are some ways to add the healing power of nature to your life.
Take time to detach yourself from electronics. Don’t be plugged in when you’re out taking a walk. Listen to the sounds around you, like birds chirping, the rustling of tree branches, waves crashing on the shore. As the saying goes, “Stop and smell the roses.”
Exercise outdoors by practicing Tai Chi or Yoga in the park. Hike a nature trail in the park or walk in the sand to view the sunset.
Enjoy the weather whether it’s raining, snowing, windy or calm. Find the beauty of nature’s power.
Eat real food from your garden or purchase organic food that is locally grown and sourced. Avoid food that is processed and packaged.
Use natural cleaning products and get rid of harmful chemicals in your home. Whether it be laundry detergent or skin care products, there are many natural alternatives made with essential oils, and they’re just as effective.
If you can’t afford an expensive vacation find a natural setting that heals your soul, even if it’s in the middle of a big city. Spend quality time there and meditate or just sit and observe the natural world.
Do you enjoy spending time in nature? Where do you go when you want to feel the power of the natural world around you? Please share your stories below.
Tags Healthy Aging