It is no secret that nature is healing. I don't think I've met any human being who's left nature and then claimed their dislike for it. Most people who spend time in nature, often return to the "real world" feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed. Often the mind has a sense of clarity and the spirit revived to either help people through difficult life situations, or possible set them on the better track in life.
Many people wonder, why is nature so healing? There are countless reasons, but science is starting to understand how nature heals humans. Whatever your belief is, there is a certain vibration or energy found in different types of environments.
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.” – John Muir
Like attracts like. If you go to a beach town, you'll notice the people are different than say in the wild west or from the snow bunnies skiing in the winter.
There are four elements on this planet: earth, air, fire and water. Although every landscape differs, every landscape usually contains all four elements to some degree. Most common natural escapes include the mountains and forest (earth), the ocean (water) or the desert (fire). Air is found everywhere and in constant motion even though you cannot see it.
Most people usually appreciate all types of landscapes, but usually gravitate towards something specific like the beach, mountains or drier climates. Now there is a breakdown for what people like. For example, someone who loves water may not necessarily be attracted to sunny, hot beaches, but may actually resonate with cooler, icier waters like you see in Scandinavia.
The four elements is literal in a physical sense, but also metaphorical while viewing life through a metaphysical lens.
Air and Fire are masculine. Earth and Water are feminine.
“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates
Some beliefs, like Ayurveda, state that there is a fifth element, called the ether, which is the vacant space where everything happens. Aristotle stated the fifth element was "aether." For example. if standing in front of a tree there is space between you and the tree. But there is also space between the leaves and the branches. Sound is part of the ether, which is vibratory and moves through space.
Part of our attraction to natural settings is also based on the soothing sounds of the natural world that calms the mind, body and soul. Whether its the waves of the ocean crashing into shore, the trickling of a stream in a forest, or the songs of the birds heard in a meadow, sound also has a way of healing us. Musically, the lower beat per minute stimulates the brain to relax where faster and harder beats per minute make us work out harder, move faster or drive more aggressively.
Sound is healing. The natural sounds produced from nature relaxes the brain, which affects the body.
Humans are naturally attracted to nature because we are ourselves are creatures of the earth. Nature is engrained in our DNA. When understanding the elements from a metaphysical sense, it is no wonder that nature is a healer. So many people gravitate to the mountains or ocean for healing or to escape the city life.
With earth and water being feminine qualities, it is no secret that Mother Nature herself bundles us up in her warmth, love and beauty, just like a mother does to her child.
“We depend on nature not only for our physical survival, we also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our own minds.”
When analyzing the five senses (sight, sound, smell, hearing and taste), nature stimulates our senses quit differently than an urban setting or our daily job.
Nature affects our health in four primary ways:
Beauty is inspirational, and nature is beautiful. It is no wonder why poets, artists and other creatives spend time in nature writing, contemplating or drawing nature scenes. Beauty inspires the soul, and for some evolves them into the best version of themselves.
Being in the moment and focusing on the present is very important to our well-being. Time in nature slows us down and "forces" us to enjoy the moment. Meditation does not necessarily mean sitting still in a Buddhist temple. Meditations can be in motion. A walk through a forest is just as contemplative as sitting on top of a mountain pondering what will happen in life.
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” – EO wilson
In my personal experience, I look back to analyze the powerful healing that has occurred in various natural environments. Swimming in the ocean cleansed my soul where as walking through the mysterious forest allowed me to let go of the things that no longer serve me.
Every type of environment was healing. The desert at Burning Man burned away many low self-esteem issues.
The power of the mountains and the bugling elk in Estes Park healed my heart from various heart breaks. Mother Earth grounded me and absorbed my pain into the soil.
The oceans in Australia cleansed my soul to awaken my spirit and let go of my childhood wounds.
Walking through volcanic lava fields in Iceland made me realize there is more to life than my work and job title.
The Spirit Rock Vortex in Tuscon, Arizona flooded my body with positive energy as I also sent light and love to many people in my life.
The angels in the sky in Utah sent me a message while pondering a question at the petroglyphs and while staring out of the window I asked, "Is moving to Germany the right thing to do?" and there an angel from the clouds emerged.
And I'll never forget walking the ancient forests on the Camino de Santiago from Porto, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela. The trees absorbed my heart break from divorce and finding freshly fallen beautiful green leaves on the ground reminded me that even that even beautiful things in this life fall, but not necessarily fail.
Nature is healing for those who respect the land and the spirit that reside there. So many people today use nature for their own glory or to gain superficial attention from Instagram.
“The contemplation of nature can free one of the ego – the great troublemaker.” – Eckhart Tolle
Has nature healed you? I would love to hear your story or experience.
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com