Research shows that nature is good for us. It boosts our mental state and can affect our immune systems positively as well as help us stay grounded and feel a part of something bigger but people are less and less likely to connect with the outside world now.
The digital age has us connected all the time and so we don't focus on what is around us as much. Here we look at 10 ways to get back in-touch with nature.
1. Go For A Hike
We could just say go for a walk but we don't mean stroll around the block or ambling into town, we mean getting out in nature and working up a sweat amongst the trees and fields of the outside world.
Escape the concrete jungle and head out into the rolling hills or grassy plains or any natural landscape around you and really just enjoy what's around you.
2. Take The Plunge
Swimming is a great form of exercise but it's no use hitting the local pool if you want to feel nature on your skin. Find a safe place where you can go wild swimming and plunge into that cool lake, river or even the sea.
Of course, safety takes precedence so make sure it's clean and suitable for swimming and that you're with someone but feeling fresh water run over you can really invigorate you and enliven the sense.
3. Plan A Camping Trip
What better way of getting in touch with nature than living amongst it for a few days. Sure, camping isn't for everyone but being that close to nature all the time and sleeping amongst the sounds of it all helps you understand your place in the world a bit better.
Having nature just outside your tent means that it is practically impossible not to interact with it and it gives you a primal sense of yourself even if it is on a very, very low level.
4. Turn A Scene Into Art
To really get the most out of nature, you have to really focus on it and appreciate all its majesty. One way of doing this is committing it to the page and documenting what you see and feel, write down your thoughts and feelings and what the colors and shapes invoke in you. Go outside and see what animals you can you see. What are they doing?
Alternatively, paint, draw or sketch what you see. Really commit it to memory and pick out the most vivid or striking parts of your surroundings.
5. Plant A Garden
If you can't get out into nature, bring nature to you and start planting a garden. You can cultivate it to however you want it to look and bring in your own favorite plants but if you leave a little bit wild, you are more likely to attract wildlife to your green patch.
If you haven't got a lot of space for a garden try a window box or small spot to bring a few plants together.
When you are out and about in nature, try a complete digital detox by leaving your electronics at home and turning your phone off. You may want to take photos of something wonderful you see by try practicing mindfulness and being in the moment.
If you can commit nature to memory you will truly appreciate it more rather than viewing it through a lens or screen.
7. Enjoy The Weather
When we say enjoy the weather, we don't mean just wait for the some to come out but go for a walk in the rain without an umbrella to feel the droplets on your skin.
Go and play in the snow, roll about in the autumn leaves and feel their crispy crunch underfoot. Start to see it as something to enjoy rather than something to battle.
If it is a clear night, why not go outside and stare up the stars and think about how those beautiful, glimmering points of light are millions of miles away and are blinking back at you.
Think of how we all originate from Stardust and exploding gas giants and how we wouldn't be here without them. Think about your place in this massive universe and feel a part of something bigger altogether.
9. Visit a National Park
National parks are a great way of seeing the nature of a specific region which the authorities have designated so worthwhile and precious that it must be protected.
Often they are huge and have a wide range of activities to do and things to see so find your nearest one and see what it has to offer.
10. Take Heed of The Small Things
There has been research to suggest that if all the insects in the world disappeared, within 50 years all life on Erth would end. Take the time to look at the creepy crawlies at your feet and treat them with the respect they deserve.
Watch the way they move and think about what they contribute to the world and your place in this magnificent chain of it all.