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  • Writer's pictureMarianne Crooch

Could Nature Be the Cure

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Did you know that Americans spend 90% of their time indoors? And 1 in 4 spend ALL day indoors? (These statistics are pre-pandemic so they may be even higher now.)

We can spend most of our waking moments inside, either at our job, cleaning our house, playing with our children, watching TV, shopping in malls or catching up on personal bills and paperwork. The time we spend outdoors breathing in fresh air, getting exercise or just enjoying what nature has to offer seems to be minimal.

When was the last time we?

  • Watched a butterfly in flight?

  • Gazed at a bird as it perched on our porch railing?

  • Walked in grass with our bare feet?

  • Meandered through a forest?

  • Smelled the scent of newly cut grass?

  • Hugged a tree?

  • Appreciated squirrels, chipmunks and other wildlife?

  • Picked a dandelion and watched the white seeds float away after the wind catches it?

  • Observed a caterpillar inch it's away across the sidewalk

  • Watched the ripples in a river or lake?

  • Stared at the clouds as they transformed from one shape to another?

  • Studied the snowflakes as they slowly descended from up above

How many of us take the time to truly enjoy and reap the benefits of nature?

Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind, body and soul.

A growing body of research has proven that weekly time in nature provides mind and body healing, including

  • Lowered blood pressure

  • Increased peace and happiness with life

  • Reduced stress and anxiety

  • An enhanced immune system

  • Improved mindfulness (my favorite of all)

Some of you may have heard about Forest Bathing, the term which was coined by the Japanese in the 1980's. It's a psychological and physiological exercise that was born from tech burnout and the country's need to get people engaged with (and protect) their forests. Studies on this 'ecotherapy' have proven that spending time in nature benefits our health.

You don't have to be on a tropical beach, in a verdant forest or on a mountain top to reap benefits from nature. It's as close as your backyard, a walk or the nearest park. We CAN experience nature's bounty every day, no matter our schedule or the weather. Take 10 minutes out of your day and spend it outside engaging with nature. The key word here is engaging.

Engaging means that we are utilizing all of our senses, sight, sound, smell, and touch. (This means turning taking off the phone/headphones.) Be in the moment. Truly experience Mother Earth as it was meant to be.

I spent a lot of time outdoors as a child. One of the perks of living in the country. Spring, summer and fall were meant for walking in the woods behind our house. It also meant boating and swimming when the temperatures cooperated. Winters meant sledding and ice skating (and lots of shoveling!). I do have to say though that walking in the woods and listening to the silence was my happy place. It still is after all these years. Of course minus all the bugs, snakes and spiders.

Nature itself is the best physician.


Nature is the most underutilized medicinal tool for improving mental and physical health. It fosters the art of being in the moment, where life is truly happening (aka mindfulness). It allows us to be appreciative of the little things and the gifts Mother Earth provides.

So why not take a moment, go outside and be one with nature? You'll be glad you did.

Lose yourself in nature and find peace.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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