Connecting With the Natural World

Our planet is a place of spectacular natural beauty. The landscape that we see when we explore untouched natural spaces is one that has been created over millions upon millions of years. Being out in all of that ancient glory can be humbling—and, according to experts, good for us!

Time spent in nature has a positive effect on the human body and mind. Studies show that natural spaces can reduce anxiety and stress. Time outside is healthy for our bodies, too. That’s particularly true when we’re in motion, but experts say that the outdoors can be healthy even if we’re not exercising!

In other words, you don’t have to be a tree-hugger to benefit from a connection with nature. Here’s how to grow closer to the world outdoors.

Find an outdoor hobby.

Taking a vacation to a natural space is a great way to experience the best that nature has to offer, but you shouldn’t have to wait until your next week off to get some fresh air. It’s healthy to be outside regularly.

Making time to get outdoors for a decent amount of time every day can be tough, though. That’s why you should consider adopting a hobby that gets you outdoors. Don’t just plan to go to the park regularly; plan to do something there, like go for a jog or play lawn games. Take up hiking, rock climbing, or camping. Do something that you enjoy that will get you outside even when your own wellness isn’t the first thing on your mind.

Live where you belong.

For busy modern professionals, nature can feel like a place that must be “escaped” to rather than a place that can surround a person on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! As work environments become more flexible and remote work more common, more and more people are taking to the road and working from relatively wild locations rather than from the big cities that once had a near-monopoly on lucrative careers. Some people even work while on the go!

Living in a beautiful natural setting doesn’t have to mean jetting from National Park to National Park in a run-down van or an RV, of course. There are many beautiful places to live that mix modernity and proximity to large cities with a rustic and beautiful feeling of nature. Take North Carolina, for instance, where a thriving economy and the development of new areas has led to a housing boom. North Carolina is a great place to turn for beautiful cabins and mountain land. Whether you maintain a summer home or live in the mountains full-time, you’ll find that waking up in a more natural space will calm you.

Besides, real estate can make a great investment! You can’t “own” nature, but you can own a plot of land that may grow more valuable over time. In a state like North Carolina, where fast-growing populations and opportunities share space with naturally beautiful wilderness, you might do very well.

Do Your Part

Nature is a wonderful thing. It was here before us, and we expect it to be here after us. But we shouldn’t take for granted that nature will always be here in its current form. The world has never seen a species as dominant and disruptive as our own human race, and we can’t know for sure what sort of world we’ll leave behind. What we do know isn’t encouraging: Experts have linked human activity to everything from a massive ocean garbage patch to a continuing worldwide increase in average yearly temperatures.

The good news is that we humans have proven ourselves capable of reversing course. When a “hole” was found in the atmosphere’s ozone layer, changes in public policy and consumer behavior helped solve the crisis. Today, the hole in the ozone layer is repairing itself. Humans have undertaken all kinds of environmentally friendly activities, including recycling. We can even recycle some types of oil, explain experts in used cooking oil collection. Recycled oil can be used in fuels and other products.

Still, the task ahead of us is a difficult one. Our current actions aren’t enough to stop global warming and save our planet. That’s why one particular way of connecting with nature may be the most important: You need to fight for the planet you love! Examine your own lifestyle and look for ways to become more energy-efficient, reduce your carbon footprint, and limit your material waste. If you’re up for it, it’s also a great idea to get involved in political organizing. It will take more than just the actions of individuals to save our planet!

Hola, I’m
Phoebe is not only the Senior Staff Writer at Big Green Gathering, she is also an esteemed musician, designer, photographer, and all around creative aficionado. When she’s not playing gigs at local Portland venues, or sourcing and designing a thrifted wardrobe, she can be found advocating for health and wellness through holistic practice and self-care. She also enjoys tending to her garden and learning new vegan recipes.

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