Seeking Natural Healing ~ The Impact of Nature on Our Wellbeing
Since the beginning of our existence, humans have been interacting continuously with our natural environment. We all have memories of being refreshed by a perfectly timed sea bath or a hike to a waterfall tucked in the hills.
What many of us don’t know is that being in nature - even simply spending more time in your yard - can significantly improve our immune system and mental wellbeing. WellnessMama lists some benefits including reduced anxiety and depressed, improved sleep, higher levels of vitamin D (hello sunshine!) and more. She also has an article about why Gardeners live longer, which is great news for our resident gardener and Kripalu yoga teacher, Ferron Lowe. But for those of us who don’t have a green thumb, it isn’t always easy to make time to get outdoors.
Many of us now spend a large part of life indoors between work and home, isolated from the natural world. Luckily in Grenada foliage is all around us, and the beaches, hills, rivers and waterfalls are only a few minutes away. Yet, we often spend our free time on our computers, phones and watching tv - rarely going out into nature.
This is one reason we are excited about Soul of the Earth, Malaika’s upcoming Day Retreat on December 16th 2018. It is a perfect chance to get a healthy dose of Grenada’s natural healing while being in good company, eating delicious nourishing food and practicing some gentle yoga and meditation.
“people…who have a certain amount of access to nature and then you give them a bit more, you see better social functioning. You see better psychological functioning and better physical health.” - Ming Kuo, Psychologist
Shankar Vedantam host of Hidden Brain podcast sat down with Ming Kuo to explore the physiological and psychological benefits of spending time in nature. Ming Kuo is a psychologist and professor who has been studying the effects of nature on humans for the past 30 years. In her interview she says that she started out like most people thinking of trees, gardens, flowers etc., “a nice amenity… not functional”. But Ming states, once we actually start looking at the patterns of what people are like with more or less access to nature,
we see the same thing in humans that we see in zoo and lab animals, which is the wonderful quote from E.O. Wilson - is that organisms, when housed in unfit habitats, undergo social, psychological and physical breakdown.
And we are seeing precisely that in people.
So maybe its time to take that walk after all! We are fortunate to live in a country where you can stand outside in almost any spot and be steeped in healing powers of nature. This is what makes our island so attractive for tourists right? So plan why not plan a nature date for yourself this week.
Podcasts are great to listen to while driving, cooking, cleaning or gardening. Listen for FREE to the full episode of Our Better Nature: How The Great Outdoors Can Improve Your Life below: