Earth Day gives you an opportunity to take care of nature, and there are many ways that nature can take care of you.
Whether you have sunshine, city structures, or giant fields that surround you, the benefits of nature can help improve your mental health.
Going outside can help you to connect with your environment and support you with taking perspective while giving you health benefits.
Choosing a new route can lead to adventure and give you a different way of doing things when you might not have in the first place. Spontaneity is a way to engage in a new, safe behavior when your routine feels stale.
Nature has benefits, and here are 5 of them:
Nature can make you feel awe inspired.
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One of the biggest benefits of nature is that you can truly get a glimpse of how small you are compared to the size of your surroundings.
Awe and wonder are joyous emotions that can help you to connect with yourself spiritually and emotionally.
Problems might not seem as big and solutions may not seem so far away when you actively engage in nature. Nature can provide ease when you would like to improve your mental health.
It may give you a chance to feel joy when you weren’t on that path initially.
With a little momentum, you may be able to make a discovery based on inspiration.
Nature connects us to movement.
Often, you are moving when you are in nature. There are moments to reflect and sit as well. However, nature has an experiential quality that can motivate you to explore when you wouldn’t have done so otherwise.
Physical activity in your natural environment can be a way to increase mental wellbeing. You may go on a walk and take a new perspective. Nature provides a way to stay mindful as you move.
You can reflect on where you are walking, how the trees look to you, the patterns you see on a building, and the way the ground feels below your feet.
This can decrease your stress hormone and stress levels for a positive effect.
Nature supports reflection.
If you aren’t feeling motivated to move, nature is a wonderful space to reflect and create.
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You may ponder your behavioral patterns, choices, and meaningful relationships in your life. Nature can hold space for you to think or write, especially if you find a quiet spot in a natural setting.
When you take a breath and truly hear yourself, this can provide a moment of gratitude. It can be powerful and serene to have a spot you truly enjoy.
If you experience discomfort while you are practicing quiet strategies, you can examine why that may be the case.
The great outdoors can lead to creativity and better health.
Nature can improve mental health.
When you combine movement, reflection, and feelings of awe, it is likely that you may improve your mental health. These practices can lead to gratitude and perspective taking.
If you have feelings of sadness and anger, you can let them go in the expanse of nature. It can feel freeing to let feelings move through you rather than stay stuck.
Sometimes, life is full of stressors, and nature can provide you an opportunity to move through them.
Nature can help you to meet people.
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When you dare to go outside, you can meet new people. You can make the choice to lessen isolation at any time.
When you are in the middle of grief or depression, you may feel like you are stuck.
This can lead to retreating rather than connecting. Nature can be the next step in your journey to connect with people. It may seem scary, and humans need connection with others to survive.
Nature can help you to dare to expand your social circles and willingness to adventure.
Nature is full of opportunities that help you connect with yourself and those around you. There are many benefits to being able to explore in a new way and take a perspective that you hadn’t thought through before to improve your mental health.
Being outside can help you to ease stress and the stressors in your life. When you employ coping strategies, you can improve the quality of life.
Sometimes, tapping into the strategies that are already within you can be a struggle. When that happens, our Denver-based Colorado therapists at Denver Metro Counseling can help. We have therapists who are trauma informed and can support you in making choices in your life.
Written by: Randi Thackeray, MA
Clinically Reviewed and Edited by: Julie Reichenberger, MA, LPC, ACS, ACC