How stressful is your life? Have you ever been so caught up in your own hectic world that you completely forgot there was anything beyond the four walls of your home or work? I certainly have been guilty of that. For years, I worked so many hours and filled my day with so many activities that it all became a complete blur. I used to drive to work and not realize how I even got there. It’s not that I didn’t LIKE my life…it was just that I was too busy to actually live it.
It got so extreme that I remember walking outside one night, and just by chance, looking up at the stars. I was stunned by the sheer beauty and majesty of it all, and I remember thinking that I had completely forgotten there was even a sky that existed. I stood there frozen for a good ten minutes or so, and realized right then and there that something was horribly wrong in my life.
It never even crossed my mind to outside anymore, and I hadn’t taken any kind of vacation in years. I loved my job, but it had started to take over my entire life. There was this whole great big universe out there, but yet I was choosing to spend it all under fluorescent light. I thought about what this must be doing to my spirit and my passion for life. I knew it couldn’t be good.
Years have past since that day, and I have since made it a priority to immerse myself in nature as often as possible. It was as simple as the decision to have my coffee in the backyard, or go on an evening walk in the moonlight. On weekends, I started playing outdoor sports with my family or going hiking – something I would not have ever even considered in my past life. These tiny changes have made monumental improvements in my life. It’s as if being outside has reminded me who I really am as a person.
Nature truly has the power to heal. It reduces stress, anxiety, and negativity. It can improve short-term memory, foster creativity, raise serotonin levels, and help us sleep better. It shows us that we are part of something bigger and something vastly more important than what we usually choose to focus on. It can make even huge problems seem small. It stimulates our senses and gives us an overall sense of well-being. It inspires us and helps us to appreciate the magic around us that we so often miss. All these things I had been completely depriving myself of.
So if you are anything like me, and you have drifted with the waves of life to a place that is mostly behind four walls, open up the windows! Stand in the rain, read a book under a tree, take a stroll on a long, winding road…..but give yourself the simple pleasure of being nature as much as you can. Escape the routine and enjoy being a part of this sublime, miraculous universe! Make your life extraordinary.