Science and technology play an increasingly important role in our lives. Advances in medicine, transportation, and communication have made life a lot easier but also contributes to lots of new problems. Our best chances for overcoming these major concerns may lie in an improved understanding of our natural world. Too often we find ourselves stuck in the known, the comfortable, the familiar. Whether it’s science or sports or relationships or art, discoveries and innovations come through the unknown, and nature is a direct route.
Take a look at your closest natural area, possibly a park or lake or natural forest. What’s under the water there? What does it look like at dawn, or at night? What animals inhabit the region or migrate through it? Who were the area’s original inhabitants? What is the oldest tree there? The simple but profound act of just being there, in nature, opens up lines of investigation that can fire one’s imagination.
Nature puts everyone on equal ground; the especially wilderness where there’s no furniture, no benches, doors, steps, gates, fences suddenly remove these structures. What you’ll see is how it makes people more responsive and appreciative of the surroundings. Nature teaches empathy, compassion, and connection. Also, it will show how outcomes aren’t always predictable, while also allowing for one to be inventive.
Why it’s important to make nature a priority in your life are many one being it can be quite instructive about the circle of life. Guiding you through experiences in nature can be a primary way to introduce concepts around life and death, especially to children. Something as simple as stopping by a fallen tree in the forest, examining how the material decays and enriches the soil, how nature reminds us that we are all connected to the circle of life, and how it is not something to shelter oneself from, but to embrace.
Lots of outdoor play and activities are proving to have particular excellent health benefits and a great place to learn many life skills. No classroom beats nature for learning. Truth be told knowing understanding and having respect for nature could one day save people’s lives. Something that the nature lovers know is that it can make you healthier and happier. Intuitively most people know that quality is good for them and approach it with that mindset.
One fascinating study has shown that children, when exposed to the natural world, showed increases in self-esteem. Many of the children also felt that being exposed as they were to nature it taught them how to take risks, unleashed their creativity and gave them a chance to exercise, play, and discover. In some cases, the natural environment provided a calming influence and helped their concentrate.
When you are in sync with nature, it has been shown to correlate significantly with life satisfaction, vitality, meaningfulness, happiness, mindfulness, and lower cognitive anxiety. There is a need to normalize everyday nature as part of a healthy lifestyle. The challenge for the future is how we get more people involved. What is known now is acknowledged about nature, and all of her real benefits.
Until the next time, take good care and be well.
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