Mountains and valleys, seas and sky, sun and earth, trees and flowers are literally our home, our natural habitat.
Growing up in the developed modern world, we can easily believe that cities – the urban and artificial environment – are where we naturally belong. But our brains and bodies, which have evolved over thousands of years, were designed by and for a very different environment than the one we live in now.
Throughout our evolutionary history, we have lived in a very close relationship with the earth, with a very close kinship with other creatures. Our physiological system has evolved to survive in wild and natural environments, and has developed a love and kinship with these places that live in our DNA.
This connection with the earth, combined with the kinship that we would have felt with other living beings who shared the earth as their home, has in us a strong feeling of the natural world as “home” and the importance of the connection with all life as essential to our well-being.
This “love of life” or Biophilia is a fundamental human need. But unfortunately, many of us are disconnected from nature due to the increasingly urbanized nature of the modern world and suffer from what Richard Louv calls a “nature deficit disorder”. We have been deprived of something that has been a source of so much spiritual nourishment and nourishment since we first walked on earth, a loss that has undoubtedly affected our collective health and well-being.
Science now confirms what most of us who have spent a lot of time outdoors intuitively know: nature is good for us. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress, relieve get-down and anxiety, improve memory, creativity and cognitive functions, increase energy levels, strengthen immunity and reduce inflammation.
The fact that so many of us are deprived of something that is so important for our well-being is a major health problem.
All this does not mean that something is wrong with cities or that we should all live from the countryside again – far from it. Cities and towns are wonderful places to live and, on the whole, full of nature – if we take the time to explore them.
But when we care about our own health and well-being (not to mention the healthy development of our children), it is important to take the time to regularly connect with nature.
This is not another “should” health. Our body and mind yearn for the return of this connection. Contact with the wild nature is a purely pleasant experience. It’s inherently rewarding. Consider the cornucopia of sensual experiences associated with this healthy hedonism that we all know:
The warmth of the sun on the skin; a gentle summer breeze; the birds singing on a quiet spring morning; the soothing sounds of the waves splashing on the shore; a magnificent sunset; a magnificent view of the mountains; the wide sweep of green valleys; clear blue sky; the stars and the Moon At night; the scent of ripe fruits or blooming roses; the glow of light on The ocean; the feeling of sand or earth underfoot; finding shade in the firmness of a tree; watching the birds in flight with their magnificent movements; the joy when dogs run and play…
In the practice of natural connection, there is not the compulsion often associated with other healthy habits, such as exercise and diet, nor the hangover from other pleasant experiences, such as eating and drinking. However, the natural compound offers the health benefits of the former and the drunkenness and happiness of the latter.