Why is nature connection so important?
In the Expressive Art therapy, the guided meditation is used to evoke the state of deep relaxation and connection to the subconscious mind. In most of the guided meditations the nature is referenced to remind the individual of the interconnection and healing that nature provides. In our modern way of living we have disconnected from our true origin. This separation creates feelings of loneliness and anxiety as well as has some physical effects on our bodies. The physical symptoms are a results of not getting enough clean air, beneficial microorganisms exposure as well as the energy from the Earth herself.
As the scientists agree that daily nature walks are extremely important and beneficial for our health, understanding why it is the case is still not fully reachable to modern science.
Here are some known benefits of nature connection:
- Stress and anger reduction
Mental health and wellbeing are regulated by the soothing presence of greenery, witnessing other living beings in harmony with nature and simply by tuning into a natural, not rushed rhythm.
- Immune system improvement
Exposure to various living organisms and the biodiversity of a forest or naturalized conservation area introduces more variety into our micro biome as well as allows our immune system to form successful defenses. Why do we benefit from the contact with nature? We can understand this phenomenon by observing a household plant. Even if the plant is naturally able to grow outdoors but it was raised inside the house, it will struggle and get damaged by being suddenly moved outdoors. Another way to understand this process is by observing how the vegetables, that are genetically modified to “defend” certain diseases and are heavily sprayed with chemicals develop. We now know that these vegetables do not contain all the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that the organically grown, heirloom vegetables do. Similarly, human beings who are deprived of biodiversity and exposure to elements lack ability to defend diseases and viruses.
- Speeding up the recovery from illness
Hospital gardens are often used to help patients recover quicker. Being in nature improves the immune system and helps to regulate the blood pressure and cortisol levels which promotes faster healing and better sleep. Relaxation and fresh air are often needed in those who suffer from sleep disturbances.
- Increase of the energy
Did you ever notice feeling tired after sitting all day in front of the computer and getting the sudden boost of energy when stepping outside? The elements are the energy sources that are also present in our bodies, and simply by being in their natural habitat increases our own vitality. One of the simplest ways to experience this is by the power of earthing: an action of walking barefoot on the soil or grass*. Place your bare feet on the grass while sitting or walk in nature barefoot to experience the quick boost of energy, increased vitality and in many cases, the lessening of the joint paint and other symptoms of inflammation.
*This is recommended during warm months, otherwise the cold can be detrimental to the health. Please make sure that you are walking in a safe area without the risk of stepping on sharp objects or walking over chemically processed lawns. Some cities offer “barefoot walkways”, they are particularly popular in Japan. Here, in Waterloo, you can find a beautiful, well kept and safe to walk path as a side of the Columbia Lake trail!
The power of our mind
Even though most expressive art sessions take place inside the Harmony Wellness or individual’s home, some can be scheduled in a beautiful, spiritual outdoors locations upon request.
As much as having the session outdoors is greatly beneficial, in the indoor session it is also possible to experience the nature almost as if being there. The power of our mind is such, that simply by seeing and visualizing the imaginary of beautiful nature some of the benefits can be experienced. For example, slowed breathing and regulating of the cortisol levels are often a results of such meditations. Not only that, but once experienced, the feeling of the connection often stays in individual’s consciousness and encourages to go out in nature and experience it in a more spiritual, interconnected way as a part of personal routine and practice.