Human beings are increasingly disconnected from the natural world. Living the concrete jungle life means that we too often forget the wonders of nature and its capacity to heal us. 

We forget that not only do we rely on nature, but that we are inherently and inextricably part of it. Nature is in our DNA, woven into the fabric of our existence. Our senses come alive as we walk hill trails alongside a rushing river and as we watch geese flying above us, embarking on their annual migration. These sights and sounds evoke a deep sense of calm, as we are reminded of our place in the vastness of life. However, in order for nature to support us, we need to value and support nature in return, so we may all flourish. 

This blog is here to remind us all that nature is a remedy, strengthening our physical and emotional resilience. Allowing us to face life’s challenges by remembering and reconnecting to the earth that holds us. 

Cultivate mindfulness

Walking in nature allows us to step out of the hustle and bustle of city living and hit the pause button. Taking your dog for a walk, for example, can give you those rare moments of peace and quiet; some well needed time to yourself. A little tip: try to sometimes leave your phone at home. As you walk, tune into the sights, sounds and smells. Notice your feet connecting with the earth and the seasons shifting around you. Do you return home with a different mindframe? 

Reduce stress levels

Spending time in nature has been proven by scientists time and time again to significantly reduce stress levels and improve mental health outcomes. It’s an undeniable truth. Chronic stress, burnout and compromised immune systems are so common in today’s society and although nature-contact time isn’t the only answer, it can certainly help us find those windows of peace; restoring and recuperating our overly fraught nervous systems. 

Feel Good Podcast: The Power of Nature

Check out this month’s Feel Good Norfolk’s Podcast series! The theme for April is ‘The Power of Nature’. We are once again in conversation with some of Norfolk’s finest wellbeing specialists: Nicky Dorrington, Kerry Dolan and Samm Cremintz. Tune in, as they explore how nature can be so powerfully beneficial for our own wellbeing. 

Caring for nature 

This isn’t a one way street. If we want nature to support us, then we need to support nature in return, as a priority. Without healthy, functioning ecosystems to clean our air, filter our water and pollinate our flowers, then our wonderful wellbeing benefits go out the window too. So what can you do to support nature, not just for Earth day, but everyday? Here are some suggestions:

  • – Organic gardening: those pesky slugs, snails and weeds might be a nuisance, but chemical spraying and things like slug pellets harm hedgehogs, birds and waterways.  
  • – Let it grow: let a patch of your garden grow wild. You’ll be supporting the bees. 
  • – Build a pond: it doesn’t need to be big, but it’ll support a mosaic of life. Just don’t forget to add a slope/or stones so that hedgehogs and other critters can get out again if they fall in. 
  • – Get active: Can you get involved in any local actions to protect biodiversity, like Stop The Wensum Link?

Through connecting with nature, may we strengthen our emotional resilience, connect with our sense of self and increase our capacity to hold ourselves in compassion; and to hold the earth compassionately in return.

 Words by Heather.

Connecting people.

Connecting people to nature.

Heather is a 3rd year Medical Herbalist student, with an MSc in Environmental Sciences. Head to her website here to find more words about the power of plants as medicine.

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