—Naturalist John Muir
Humans have long sensed that being in nature is good for the mind, body, and soul. From ancient rites of passage performed in the wild to modern Japanese "forest therapy,” we have looked to nature as a place for healing and personal growth.
Today, science is backing up our intuition about the benefits of time spent in nature. Over 100 studies have shown that being in nature or even viewing nature videos can improve the health of our brains, bodies, emotions, thought processes, and social interactions. Connecting with nature helps us become more open, creative, generous, and resilient.
So, how can we heal from the “nature deficit disorder” that so many of us experience these days? Spending uninterrupted time in wild places is ideal. But nature is available all around us, at all times—no matter where we live or work.
Here are six simple ways to engage with the natural world every day—and to reap its mental, physical, and spiritual benefits.
1. Notice 3 good things in nature every day.
It sounds simple, but the benefits are profound. Every day for a week, write down three good things you’ve noticed in nature—anything from a bird’s song to a cloud pattern, the rustling of leaves, or the phase of the moon. A 2017 study by researchers at the University of Derby found that doing so increases people’s connection to nature and, with it, their psychological health.
2. Wear these therapeutic gemstones.
As products of the Earth, all therapeutic gemstone necklaces provide concentrated doses of nature’s healing energies. However, these gems also have a particular focus on heightening your awareness of and connection to nature.
This combination of Aquamarine, Agate, and Light Green Aventurine reawakens your body’s power to heal through the forces of nature. Its energy alleviates the draining effects that come from electromagnetic pollution, overexposure to technology, life lived in buildings, and insufficient time spent rejuvenating in nature’s rhythm.
Agate is a symbol of the Earth and of nature. The earthtone color rays it imparts to the body are those expressed by trees and plants, minerals and rocks, clouds and sky, and the planet itself. Thus, by wearing Agate, you can forge a stronger connection with the Earth and be nourished by the very energies that nourish the planet.
This rich-green gemstone carries the energies of a master teacher who engages the healing power of natural earth forces. It awakens your inner knowing and ability to take steps to heal yourself and others with earth medicine. Wearing Chrome Diopside will unlock the healing potential within you as well as within gems, plants, water, and other forces of nature.
Primordial Forest provides the natural-healing benefits of Chrome Diopside with a strong focus on the body’s tissues and organs. Directed by Light and Dark Green Aventurine, the Chrome Diopside awakens and heightens your organs’ ability to draw vitality and strength from minerals, gemstones, natural therapies, and nature itself.
3.“Green” your exercise.
“Green exercise” is physical activity done outdoors. Research shows that green exercise makes people happier, less fatigued, and more energized for longer periods than exercise done indoors. Because of the time spent in a natural environment, it is experienced as more restorative, along with a host of other unique benefits. Learn the optimal dose of green exercise.
4. Spend your lunch break outside.
Preferably without your phone—and even if the weather isn’t perfect. If that isn’t practical, try to spend at least part of your break walking in the fresh air and noticing the presence of wildlife around you. You may be surprised at how much you see. (Squirrels, pigeons, and pavement dandelions count!)
5. Parent a few potted plants.
Bring nature into your home and workspace in the form of plants. Social media abounds with luscious visuals and practical tips from “plantfluencers” on how to grow and nurture these living embodiments of nature and its cycles. Even looking at your plants can boost your mood. Check out #plantparenthood and other plant-loving hashtags on your favorite social sites.
6. Take a regular forest bath.
As mentioned above, the practice of shinrin-yoku—"forest bathing," or simply spending time in a forest—is now prescribed as standard preventive medicine in Japan. Studies show that forest bathing calms the nervous system, reduces stress, and heightens our awareness of our connection with nature. Learn more about forest therapy.
For the ultimate nature experience when you are away from nature, try Earth Aqua.