The Nature of Feeling Good
by Sarena Korni | November 2022
Our ancestors were onto something in regards to their reverence of nature. In many ways, nature is a reflection of the human experience. Nature evolves, endures, shifts, and grows, as we do. Nature can be unpredictable, as we can be. We need our planet to thrive because it houses the air we must breathe, the water we drink, the bounty we harvest and eat. To experience the natural world is to see ourselves, bones and all; there is a lot that we can learn.
Lessons about physical, emotional and mental wellness can be found through scaling a mountain peak, bathing in a river, stream or lake, a brisk walk in a city park, tending to a small garden or plant, pounding the concrete with your dog, taking in the sights and smells, hiking through a canyon, or fishing. There is a sense of accomplishment and endurance to be found in scaling that mountain. Bathing in a river, lake or stream can wash away the stress and grime of a difficult day and leave room for peace to find us. Hiking through a canyon that showcases earth’s majesty can invoke a sense of wonder. A brisk walk through a city park provides reprieve from the overwhelm that an environment such as this can provide. There is purpose to be found in tending your own garden, knowing that those plants depend on you to flourish. A couple of deep breaths of fresh air, recycled especially for us, from those same trees and plants found in a park, a yard or on a windowsill, can reinvigorate.
Reconnecting with Nature
For some people, simply walking out their front door is the first step to reconnecting with nature, for others it requires more intention, however, we can all still benefit from the positivity that nature provides. Below are some suggestions for how to reconnect with nature:
- Take a walk.
- Go for a swim.
- If you live near hiking trails, hike.
- Meditate in the sunlight.
- Take your pet for a walk and spend some time playing with them.
- Run on a trail or around your neighborhood.
- Go on a retreat.
- If you have space, begin plotting a small garden or keep plants in your home.
Recording your Experiences
Of course there are innumerable ways to reconnect with nature, and as you begin your own journey to doing so, you will discover many more. As you do, you may find it helpful to record all of the insight that you gain from your time spent in nature; records that you can return to again and again in those instances where it is easy to forget. For writers, perhaps journaling about your experiences will benefit you. If you are more visual, like myself and many others, starting a photo album with small quotes or lines of wisdom attached to each image may suit you best.
While nature can provide so many resources that promote mental, emotional and physical health, therapy can provide tools that help you to make the most of your experiences with nature. These tools will help you to be your best self so that you can experience the beauty of nature uninhibited.
While our physical offices are located in South Loop and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois for in-person sessions, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more.