This is a bit of a specialty of mine because nature is my number one de-stress of all time. I can literally feel my body relax and begin the recovery process as I drive out to the woods. And once I’m there, most worries, anxiety, anger, and everything else negative just washes away. I’m actually writing this in a hammock in one of my favorite places in the Bay Area, Moss Beach. It’s an eerie cyprus and eucalyptus forrest along a bluff overlooking the Pacific. I come here to relax, and sometimes workout.
Anyway, connecting to nature is something that we all desire and drive for, even if some are somewhat unaware of it. From a base level understanding of human needs, it stems from the need to feel “at home” in our surroundings. If we are not connected to it, we will never quite feel comfortable. This lack of comfort leads to conflict in ourselves and with others and that’s just no fun! Through this logic we can understand that connecting with our natural surroundings will offer us the potential for a better life.
The reason connecting with nature is so important is because it’s what exists outside of us, no matter what. Houses, cities, cars, all that stuff we created. But nature was there long before we ever were. That unwavering existence gives it a sort of spiritual power over us. It doesn’t care about our problems, it just does what it does. And when we go out into it we can feel that at some level. There’s a certain calm about anything that functions outside of our own crazy worlds and minds. And this calm is what we strive to connect with. I view this the same way people try to connect with a God. It is an comfort to all the unknown in life. And the more we can connect with it, the more comfortable we can feel functioning alongside it.
Nature is greater than us. Its versatility and complexity is beyond anything we can know, despite our efforts to try to fully understand it for thousands of years. We can do nothing but trust it’s ruthless and beautiful ways as we continuously innovate new ways of destroying it. In fact, the more we disconnect from nature through our own technology-driven lifestyles, the more we’ll struggle. We’ll struggle with health, despite the billions of dollars we put into innovative ways to cure our illnesses. We’ll struggle with understanding connection despite our efforts to innovate new ways to replicate connections (social media).
But one of the biggest fixes for many of our issues is easily accessible everywhere in this country. Just go to the woods, the mountains, the oceans, the lakes, the deserts, the hills, the plains, or anywhere untainted by human touch. Step into nature even for a second and it draws you in to its ancient and undying calm. It forces you to connect with it just by being there. It has functioned similarly for hundreds of thousands of years, and that greatness is something that humbles and relaxes us.
You don't need to become some sort of nature expert and go camping every weekend. All I’m suggesting is that you get outside and into true, unchanged nature once per week. That connection will work wonders on your overall health. I know there’s actually science out there that proves the health benefits of being in nature, but I won't link to that just yet. My hope is that if you believe in what I’m saying, you'll make a point to connect more with nature. And if you never really thought about it, perhaps this will make you think about it and give it a try. If you don't agree, let me know why!
OK, that’s enough writing. I’m going to read a bit and take a little nap with this chilly Pacific Coast wind blowing through my hammock!
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