There is a nice rush when getting out in nature. I always feel my energy levels rise. In this article, I will show you the benefits of being in nature more and some suggestions on how to incorporate it in your life. Boosting your energy with nature doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems.
The Science Behind Getting out in Nature
The benefits of getting out in nature are being discovered more and more each day. Most studies focus on a specific benefit like mental health. The studies are growing and this study by Keniger, Gaston, Irvine, and Fuller(2013) suggest a wide range of benefits. The benefits overall include psychological, cognitive, physiological, and spiritual. It mainly depends on the social and cultural contexts.
There are a wide range of activities you can do to get out in nature more:
- Rock Climbing
- Grounding (barefoot in sand/dirt)
- Forest Meditation
- Swimming (lakes/ponds/beaches)
- Walking in a Park
Overall, there is a lot you can do in nature. It depends on what you enjoy and how much time you have. Let’s explore some common practices seen in nature.
The Power of Grounding
When you are at the beach and your barefoot are in the sand, how do you feel?
This is a form of the practice called “Grounding”. When your barefeet are in contact with nature (sand, dirt, and other nature based materials).The idea behind this method is the Earth’s surface is electrically charged. It is filled with negative ions. When we put our barefoot on the Earth’s natural ground, those ions transfer into our body creating balance.
- Reduced inflammation and pain
- improved blood flow
- reduced stress
- better sleep
- improved energy
- improved response to trauma and injuries (accelerated wound healing)
To get started try doing this:
- Pick 1 day a month to go out in nature for 30 minutes
- Make it fun for you ( bring a friend, family, or go by yourself)
- Find a spot and clear it from debris so you don’t hurt your feet
- Put your barefeet in that cleared spot (dirt or sand)
- Feel free to get your mindfulness activity done at this time or play games with who you brought along (if on the beach it is easy to go for a walk, but watch out for the shells)
- Set a timer and put your phone on silent. Allow yourself to be fully present for this amount of time
That’s how simple it is! If you’d like you can pick a local park and do this activity there. Eventually, if you want to further your practice you can work from once a month to bi-monthly and eventually once a week. When in doubt, be kind to yourself. If it stresses you out to do this activity more often keep a sustainable schedule for yourself. This is to help with stress, not make it worse.
If you do find yourself with very little time to practice self care, check out this article.
Forest Meditation is when you go out into nature and use all your senses. Taking in the sight, smell, sensations, taste, and whatever else you notice. Being fully engulfed by it.
You can do this by choosing your favorite nature spot. Then start observing the environment from big to little things. After doing this, start paying attention to the smell. Try this for each scent. Feel free to add a little earthing/grounding in there.
Personally, I have found this very calming, energizing, and refreshing. Here are some benefits that a systematic review analyzed in multiple studies:
- decreased stress
- Improved mood
- decreased symptoms of anxiety
- improved health & well being
- can serve as alternative treatment for depression(consult your health professional before changing your treatment)
More benefits can include the same as meditation and even earthing.
Here is how to start:
- Pick your nature spot (ideally, more accessible to you)
- Choose one day in the month that you can set aside 15-30 minutes
- Mindfully walk or sit down as you start engaging each of your senses
- Feel free to set a timer for the time you can set aside (maybe even add some earthing/grounding)
- Make sure to silence your phone and be present in this moment
Movement Based Nature Activities
Getting out in nature is great in general. Going for a swim, hike, climb, and any other movements are wonderful ways to stay active and enjoy nature.
These benefits will be similar to most physical activity benefits. Like improved mental and physical well-being. There is no doubt that physical activity isn’t good for you. It’s important to pick what is best for you and your body so you don’t hurt yourself. The benefits vary depending on what activity you choose.
Feel free to add in as your cool down on of the above activities to your chosen nature physical activity. It’s a way to habit stack.
The 3-Day Effect
This book is amazing! You can find it on Audible. The ideal behind this book is that 3 consecutive days in nature helps you decrease stress, stay in your parasympathetic nervous system, sparks your creativity, and many other benefits including the ones above. I highly suggest checking it out. Nature calms the mind with just 30 minutes, but if you give it 3 days, the benefits last longer. Ideally, this blog is to help you improve your self care with a busy schedule, but if you have the time give this a try.
Increase your energy with nature by getting out in it more. Whether you just want to get active, use a forest meditation/therapy, or ground/earth; they will all help you in different ways. Increase your vitality by increasing your health balancing your body’s systems. Your body is not just physical but also energetic (electromagnetic field, meridians, chakras) and emotional (brain) . Check out this article on the basics of increasing your vitality and this article to create your routine as a coach.