Nature Bathing: The Best Way to Keep the Doctors Away
By Giacomo Edifizi
The word nature is derived from the Latin word “natura” that in ancient times literally meant "birth".
Nature is both evolution and extinction, life and death, growth and decay. She is a mosaic of heat and cold, light and darkness, weakness and strength. She’s the yin and yang of life.
We, living beings, are deeply attracted by her. The spectacular sunsets, magnificent vistas, intricate mountain shapes and graceful wildlife she offers us. But her true beauty lies in her diversity and in both the interrelationship and interdependence of her physical forces, chemical processes, biologic systems and countless life forms.
Not only she seduces us but also bring health and happiness. Exposure to nature can reduce hypertension, anxiety and cardiovascular illnesses; Improve vitality and mood; Most importantly, feeling a part of nature has been shown to significantly correlate with life satisfaction, vitality, meaningfulness, happiness and mindfulness. It becomes a healthy addiction that you can’t get away from.
All we need to do is listen to her.
Get out there, deep in the forest or up high on a mountain top and you can hear her speaking to us through the elements. The wind with its invisible, mysterious force can bring a landscape alive. Earth with its powerful force is vividly visible all around us. Water and Fire bring radical changes and yet being so peaceful and calming.
Nature and its elements is what makes our adventure so exciting; where the only constant is change and the unknown.
Since I was a kid, I’ve always been drawn to the feelings she was evoking on me. That joyfulness, freedom and awareness I couldn’t find anywhere else. From then, I just wanted my loved ones to be fully immersed on it too. Now I want everyone to be part of it; to feel the same way I feel when I’m out there!
Do you pay attention to Nature and the Elements or are you barely aware is there?
Give it a try.
Find a good place. This doesn’t need to be a complicated process, and you don’t need the “perfect” place because all of nature is perfect.
Create time alone in Nature. When we’re with other people, we tend to talk to each other. Silences are experienced as uncomfortable. We’re also concerned about what people think of us, so we tend to behave according to social convention.
Notice the presence of the elements as you get to your destination.
How do you sense it?
What does it feel like?
Open and engage all the senses. What is it to see, hear, feel, smell? Then, try asking yourself: “What am I drawn to?” Is it a mountain? A creek? A flower? A tree? Allow your eyes to rest there, and focus your mind on it.
Notice the silence, the stillness around you. The sound of the water flowing from an alpine creek, the crunch of gravel under hiking boots or rubber soles squelching across wet grass. The symphony of bird songs, trees and sometimes frogs all talking together. Notice as much detail as possible.
This process only takes couple of minutes but it can have a powerful effect on your ability to reduce stress and increase happiness.
Albert Einstein nailed when he said “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”.
So get out there! Keep exploring and adventuring, live in close contact with Mother Nature and joy will find you and everyone around you.