With the busy lives that we lead, there are days we never have the chance to “be” in nature. We walk outside to get to the car or take public transportation, and then remain in our offices, and never once do we pause, take a deep breath, enjoy the sky, experience the wind in our faces.
If you’ve ever been to see Peter or another naturopathic physician, you’d know that getting out in nature—digging in the dirt, experiencing the elements, basking in the sun or moon light, or just taking time to walk outside and breathe—enhances our quality of life by grounding us lowering our stress levels, creating a sense of calm connection to self and promoting our overall well-being. As with all things naturopathic, I am now seeing the mainstream medical community acknowledging the importance of cultivating a relationship with nature.
According to researchers at the University of Essex, taking a walk and being in nature can “alter self esteem and mood” (1). Listening to nature sounds and just looking at landscape posters have shown demonstrable effects in lowering stress levels (2). Other studies show that being in nature improves cognition (3). Huge rewards stem from just getting yourself outside, taking a walk and being present in the natural world.
Of course, I realize that nature is not the only answer. Taking care of ourselves by personalizing a health care and lifestyle program designed for our unique biochemical individuality is the cornerstone of good health. Our work at D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition is focused on helping people find what’s right for them, and providing supplements and supportive software tools to deepen and enhance the experience of each person as an individual. This also carries over into lifestyle choices, like the kind of nature experience that’s right for you. One person might like the cold weather, while another might like the beach. The key is to find what resonates with you and to commit as little as 10 minutes a day to get outside—and while doing so, putting the phones/computers away and just allowing yourself to just be. I myself love putting my feet in the grass of the back yard or the sand at the beach. There’s something very grounding about this, and it’s important to me to take that time out to reconnect with myself and experience nature. It’s a great way to reset, and I encourage you this month to give it a try.