6 simple ways to connect with nature

16 September 2020

Indoor gardeningNature is a powerful de-stressor, so getting out in it often is great for wellbeing and physical health. But what about those times when you just can’t get out in it? How can we benefit from it when we can’t reach it? Here are some simple ways to connect with nature.

Stress can raise feelings of anxiety, sadness and helplessness, which in turn elevates blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and suppresses the immune system leaving us more vulnerable to illness at times of high stress.

Being in nature reduces these negative feelings and sensations, and promotes a calmness and settling of physical tensions. It can even help us manage pain better.

As humans, we are naturally inquisitive when it comes to nature. Spending time outside or simply focussing on a nature scene can distract us from uncomfortable feelings, thoughts and sensations and can even reset the mind to give us space to tackle tasks with a new sense of composure.

However, physically getting out into nature isn’t always possible at those times when we could do with a bit of de-stressing. Here are a few ways to bring nature to you when you need it most:

Have plants in every room in your house. That way, before you have even left the house, you will have spent some time with nature.

Listen to sounds of nature. There’s plenty of free resources out there where you can find various sounds from nature. Whether its rainfall, crickets or waves, giving yourself a few minutes to sit with these sounds will let your imagination take you away somewhere new and peaceful.

Carry nature with you. Get yourself a small box or tin, small enough to fit in your pocket, and place tiny bits of nature in it to carry with you for the day. Place a tissue inside and drip a few drops of essential oil onto the tissue. Add in some dried lavender or oregano. Pick a few small flowers or interesting leaves to place inside. Open this up at those times when you need a little pick-me-up.

Overload your online feed with nature. Social media is one massive culprit for bringing stress and sad feelings out to play. Use it for good instead by following accounts and pages dedicated to nature and wildlife and fill your feed with beautiful landscapes and pudgy baby animals.

Open the curtains. It sounds obvious but if you are in a room where the curtains or blinds are drawn, open them. There will be some sort of nature to look at, even if it’s just the sky above the other buildings in front of you. Look for the nature right outside your window!

Drink nature in. Camomile, peppermint, ginger, sage, lemon balm, rosehip and liquorice teas are all comforting and restorative in their own ways. Whatever one you pick, you can’t go wrong.

Focus your whole attention on that bit of nature, be curious about every inch of it, and bring as many of your senses in to play as you can to fully absorb yourself in it. Bringing nature with you ready, or looking for nature no matter where you are, will help to calm and relax you in times of stress.