In the words of Samuel Johnson “to deviate from nature is to deviate from happiness.” As our lives become busier and more stressful, most of us are aware that we should take more time to connect with nature. Indeed, it’s become quite trendy to be a friend of nature. An example of this is the popularity of the Paleo Diet. This diet favours the simpler pre-agricultural diet of our ancestors as it is more ‘natural’ than the modern Western diet. The diet consists of mainly raw vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. However, if you can’t contemplate giving up your pasta and ice cream just yet, there are plenty of other ways you can become at-one with nature.
Support Nature Charities
Supporting a Nature charity can help you reconnect with the natural world. You might support a charity by adopting an unwanted animal, or picking up litter in your local park.
Studies have found that the more physically connected you are with nature, the more likely you are to show a social conscience for large scale issues such as global warming, conservation and animal protection. In turn, this improves self esteem and gives a greater sense of meaning to your life. You may well find that, after volunteering on a local level, you become more interested in RSPB campaigns or GreenPeace Campaigns. That’s got to be a good thing!
Get a Pet
It’s commonly known that growing a pot plant can make you happier, but the same can be said of nurturing a pet. According to this study, looking after an animal can enhance your ability to relax, offer a greater sense of belongingness, control, and self-esteem. Lively animals such as dogs allow you to connect with nature on two levels, as they encourage you to get out and about with the dog. However, cats can be a more practical pet for many as they are relatively more straightforward to care for and require less space.
Witness a new Landscape
Holidays are relaxing, for sure. However, spending two weeks a year in predictable locations is unlikely to help you connect with nature on a meaningful level. Connecting with nature can be achieved through a selection of wildlife trips across Africa, Europe, Asia or the Americas. Your trip of choice should depend on what landscapes you’ve seen before and what type of landscapes you’ve yet to explore. For example, if you usually visit urban spaces, why not consider visiting the rainforest? Indeed, rainforests or safaris offer an excellent opportunity to get closer to the animal kingdom, too. Novel landscapes, animals and climates will make you realise just how awesome and multifaceted the planet is.
Try Alternative or Holistic Therapies
Many homoeopathic or alternative therapies are informed by the premise that the mind and body cannot be separated. As such, mental and physical health must be nourished in a holistic way, often by tapping into more natural ways of living.
For example, Chinese medicine uses many naturally existing herbs to support overall wellbeing. Skin conditions such as acne and eczema are often treated by the use of herbalism or supplements. The “cavemen regimen” has also grown in popularity more recently. This is a back-to-nature method of skincare that encourages individuals to wash their face with plain water only. Indeed, naturopathy seems to be very effective at treating skin conditions. Some sports practitioners also believe outdoor exercise can improve the symptoms of many diseases. In Victorian times, “going to the country” or “getting some sea air” were popular treatments for a variety of different ailments!
Why not try one of these suggestions and see if nature can make you happier.