Vis medicatrix naturae – “the healing power of nature”
Is Nature Actually Healing?
How powerful can spending time in nature actually be? You might have heard a lot about how nature is healing and perhaps even experienced a change in how you feel after spending time in nature. So, what does the science actually say? This article will teach you how nature is healing, inspire you to spend more time outdoors, and provide actionable ways to connect with nature and experience the healing benefits.
Several studies tout the benefits of spending more time in nature. Ranging from improved mood, reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol, to improved sleep and a boost to your immune system, the evidence seems to point to the idea that nature can indeed be healing.
In a busy world with increasing reliance on technology and responsibilities that pile up quickly, it can be tough to prioritize time to get outside in nature. It can be easy to spend days indoors or in vehicles, tied to computers and phones. In the blink of an eye, you might find it is time for bed and the day is already gone.
What if we shifted how we think about spending time in nature? Changing it from something that might be a luxury or an escape that you save your vacation time for, to something that is a regular part of self-care or stress management routines? Fostering the perspective that spending time in nature is something that is a normal and welcomed part of the day and an important factor in health and well-being?
This article aims to inspire and motivate you to prioritize time in nature in whatever way is realistic for you. So that you too can experience the healing benefits of nature and support your well-being, just as you deserve.
10 Inspiring Quotes About The Healing Power of Nature
These quotes are great examples of the healing power of nature that can serve as powerful reminders of the benefits of getting out in nature. Use them as reminders, motivators, or inspiration to spend more time connecting with and appreciating the great outdoors!
“Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us.” - EO Wilson
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” - John Muir
"Nature itself is the best physician" - Hippocrates
“Being in nature is not only inspiring, it also has medical and psychotherapeutic potential. By experiencing nature, we place our body in the original functional circle made of humans and the environment from which we emerged. We put two matching puzzle pieces together – us and nature into one whole.” - Clemens G. Arvay
“Moments of solitude with mother nature is sunshine to a soul.” – Anthony Douglas Williams
“Nature has the power to heal because it is where we are from, it is where we belong and it belongs to us as an essential part of our health and our survival.” – Nooshin Razani
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
“You reconnect with nature in the most intimate and powerful way by becoming aware of your breathing and learning to hold your attention there, this is a healing and deeply empowering thing to do. It brings about a shift in consciousness, from the conceptual world of thought to the inner realm of unconditioned consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe” – Anatole France
16 Ways To Connect With Nature & Experience The Healing Benefits
You can reap the benefits of spending time in nature in many different ways. You don’t have to go off into the woods for days or move to the countryside. Below are some ideas for different ways to connect with nature:
- Start your day with a morning walk
- Take breaks during your work day to get outside for some fresh air
- Stuck inside? Take some time to look out a window and appreciate the natural world
- Bring greenery into your space at home or work through plants
- Spend time in your garden
- Spend some time walking barefoot (a practice known as grounding or earthing)
- Head to a local park for a picnic, or to read or journal in a green space
- Make plans to enjoy a local hike
- Plan a camping trip or even camp out in your backyard
- Include pictures of nature that bring you joy around your house or workspace
- Open your blinds and allow natural light into your space
- Spend some time observing nature around you or include a mindful moment or mindful walk in your day
- Admire a sunrise, the sunset, or stargaze
- Take a scenic drive, let your windows down, and the breeze in
- Enjoy a meal outside
- Take your exercise routine outdoors
Experiencing The Power of Connecting With Nature
Reflecting on our life right now, it is hard to imagine that only a year ago it looked much different. We almost never traveled, had long commutes to work, and found ourselves feeling as though our days were passing us by.
While we tried to get outside in nature most days, it never ended up being as much as we would have liked. There were many days when we barely got the chance to enjoy the sunshine or relax in the shade of a tree. We started to notice how much better we felt when we were able to do simple activities like getting out for a lunchtime walk or heading to the park after work. With this in mind, we started to envision how we might design our life in a way that allowed for more of what helped us to feel our best.
Jumping into RV life was a risk that we feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to pursue and grateful that we built up enough courage to try. It has allowed us to travel to new places and serves as a constant motivator to get outside to explore or spend time appreciating nature. We now hike over 500 miles a year and have visited 25 states. Our time outside of work is rejuvenating and fulfilling. And our stress levels, health, and well-being have benefitted because of it.
While you might not be considering a nomadic lifestyle, everyone can benefit from spending more time in nature and prioritizing time to focus on their needs. Whether it is a moment to look outside as you get ready for work or a lunchtime stroll. Small changes can lead to big impacts over time.
How To Motivate Yourself To Take Action
You may know there are benefits to spending more time in nature, but it’s not always that simple. You lead a busy life and might not live surrounded by nature. Instead, you might find yourself inundated with the constant noise and creations of modern life, rather than the trickling of a stream or the stillness of the forest on a calm day.
If it is not easy to find yourself in nature, it might take a bit of effort and creativity to make it part of your routine. Change is tough, but with commitment, and some problem solving you can empower yourself to make shifts that align with your values and support your goals.
For example, perhaps one of the quotes about the healing power of nature really inspires or resonates with you. You might write it down and put it somewhere you see it often. Think of your fridge, your desk, or your bathroom mirror. Somewhere you can continue to be reminded of why spending time in nature is important to you or times you felt refreshed or recharged after being outside.
To take it a step further, you might identify ways to incorporate more time with nature into your days and set goals around that. It could be something as small as a 5-minute mindful walk to start your day. Or something bigger like planning a camping trip with your friends or family. Start with what feels realistic for you and build from there.
Turning Knowledge and Intention Into Habits
No matter what you choose to prioritize when it comes to spending time in nature, work to hold yourself accountable. You could share your goal with someone who can help hold you accountable or check in on your progress. Or perhaps you set reminders or alarms to keep yourself on track. Find a system that works for you and figure out who in your support system will be there for you along the way or even join in with you.
Over time, small actions taken consistently lead to big impacts… much more than big actions done inconsistently. The process of creating new habits or routines doesn’t require perfection, and with consistency, over time you will find that your habits are becoming more automatic and eventually become just another seamless part of your daily routine or lifestyle.
With the knowledge about why and how nature is healing, the inspiration of the benefits you could gain, and the intention to prioritize time in nature, you will be well on your way to experience all the amazing benefits connecting with nature has to offer!