Nature and Mental Health
We all know that one benefit to living in Colorado is the abundant natural beauty at our fingertips.
But how often do we use it to better our mental health?
To clear away the stress?
To cultivate happiness?
Right outside our doors is a playground of awe just waiting to be enjoyed and one that can help us live a longer and more joyful life.
Nature has been found to increase cognitive ability and brain health, improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress, and even help us live kinder lives – to others and ourselves.
And that’s just some of the mental benefits.
Physically, it has shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, ease pain, lower stress hormones, balance the nervous system, improve sleep, and enhance immunity – just to name a few!
So how can you use Mother Earth to better your own health?
Here’s a step by step guide of how to infuse more natural wonders in your everyday life.
1. Start with your indoor environment.
Nature doesn’t just have to live outside. Make small adjustments in your home and office to include such things as plants, herbs, flowers, rocks, and organic elements.
Utilize essential oils in diffusers and baths and turn on music that includes sounds of nature like oceans, rivers, and rainforests.
Choose scenes of the great outdoors, national parks, or natural elements for screen savers and technology backgrounds.
2. Connect it to your diet.
Farm to table isn’t just a trendy concept- it can actually be a grounding way to get in touch with nature at its core.
Visit a farmer’s market, grow your own, or simply opt for fresh produce rather than processed foods to ground yourself to the earth and its abundance.
3. Take advantage of what’s around you.
How many times have you passed by that trail head going home yet rarely use it?
When was the last time you picnicked at a local park?
Have you jumped in a community pool recently?
Experiencing nature can be as easy as a walk around the block but you can always look to other areas in your neighborhood as well. Trails, streams, parks, pools, and playgrounds abound so take advantage when you can.
4. Venture out and explore.
Places, experiences, and activities can be endless in Colorado so don’t limit it to just what’s around the corner.
Part of nature’s fun is exploring!
Snag a guidebook, scroll through blogs, or just hit the road and see where it takes you as you discover everything from a roadside waterfall to a 360 degree view of mountaintops.
The world is your oyster – what will you find?
5. Look at it differently.
Taking in the view from a new perspective can bring mindfulness to an already amazing experience.
To do this, try:
- drawing, painting, or writing (such as poetry or journaling) what you see or are experiencing
- meditating to soak in the sounds, smells, and feels of the natural world around you
- feeling the grass or streaming water on your bare feet, smelling the flowers and trees, noticing the sun and breeze on your skin, closing your eyes and listening to the river and birds
6. Leave technology out of it.
A great view can make for the perfect social media post, but to truly connect, try leaving technology out of it unless for emergency purposes. Be in the moment, soak it all in, and give yourself the time and space to reflect and refresh.
Don’t underestimate the power nature can have on your health. We encourage you to explore for a healthier and happier life!
And if something is bothering you, we are here to help you further.
Whether holistic counseling or naturopathic medicine, the CNMA office is available to assist you with both mental and physical health needs.
Please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves or to make an appointment with another provider.
The CNMA office provides naturopathic care, acupuncture, testing, massage, and holistic counseling to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area. For those outside of these areas, virtual appointments are available.