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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Get Back to Nature

Get Back to Nature

If you're feeling down or need a shift in perspective, why not spend a little time getting back to nature? 

Recently, I was talking with my 21-year-old nephew about what he does in his spare time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he loves to go hiking and camping. He said he tends to sleep better than he does in his own home AND he has THE BEST dreams!

Which made me think about how little we're in contact with nature these days, yet how healing it can be to connect with it. Each morning, I walk my dog around my neighborhood. My favorite place is a road that winds around a little lake. It transports me beyond the city I live in and into another dimension. (At least until my dog spies a squirrel or another dog and then I'm right back into the here-and-now!)

A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of earthing. The website and book (see present information based on research that shows just how much we are positively affected by connecting -- literally! -- to the earth and nature. These days, we're buffered so much by rubber-soled shoes and other non-organic material that we've lost an intimate connection with the earth. And what an amazing connection this can be!

Just 15-20 minutes of direct contact (think: going barefoot) with the earth, our immune system is bolstered, our moods can change for the better, we sleep better and we're more vibrant overall. Spend more time and the effects increase, too.

Here's an article I discovered:

Nature Nurtures Creativity After Four Days of Hiking
Dec. 12, 2012 — Backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test after spending four days in nature disconnected from electronic devices, according to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas.
     "This is a way of showing that interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving that really hadn't been formally demonstrated before," says David Strayer, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at the University of Utah.

More good news:
Just LOOKING at a photo of nature can have similar effects! So, if it's too cold or wet or hot outside, consider pulling out your favorite photo of your favorite place in nature. It can work wonders!

Notice how you feel after spending 15-20 minutes connecting with nature and bring its natural, vibrant energy back with you to your current situation. What has changed?

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