Humankind has an innate biological connection with nature. This ‘biophilia’, a term coined by naturalist Dr. Edward O. Wilson, describes our natural feeling to be drawn toward nature, to feel a love and affinity for it. We are part of nature and it is part of us.
There is a growing body of research confirming the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, both reducing stress and promoting healing. We have so much to gain from our time in nature. Ecopsychology points to how immersion in nature benefits your health.
“Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning,” according to Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and pioneer in this movement to save our children from Nature Deficit Disorder.
There are many ways to enjoy nature, from being outside feeling the Earth holding you, to smelling fresh blossom, to planting seeds with your hands in the soil or lying on the grass watching clouds dance across the sky. An ancient practice in Japan, Shinrin-Yoku, translated as ‘forest bathing’, involves immersing all of your senses in nature as you breathe deeply, calmly observing life amongst the trees. The experience helps us to relax, as science now confirms, “the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with relaxation and decreased stress, was dominant in the subjects during the forest bathing trips” (Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function, Qing Li, 2009).
A recent study of 20,000 people found that the minimum amount of time to spend in nature was 2 hours a week, in order to notice the benefits on health and wellbeing. The rapidly expanding research consistently points to the fact that regular time in nature has robust effects on our health – mentally, emotionally and physically.
The beauty of all of this is in its simplicity. Nature calls us to return to our roots. To slow down. To broaden our gaze. To hear our bird friends sing. To notice our plant friends grow. To smell the blossoming trees. To ground ourselves. To let go. To be.
As parents, nature invites us to reconnect with our inner child – to climb a tree, to splash in a puddle, to befriend a bee. As we raise our children, we raise ourselves. To spend time connecting with our child deep in nature is a beautiful gift to our souls. For children to fall in love with nature, they must spend time exploring in it, making memories, living it as part of who they are. As role models for the next generation, we are the beginning of this path – their lifelong journey to feeling at home in the forest, to discover, to connect, to play, to sit and make friends with the trees, the plants, the animals and the land. A space where we are free, free to breathe, free to move, free to be.
If we can retreat into nature for at least 2 hours every week, we can be thankful for all the gifts she offers us in return. Our mental wellbeing and our physical health will thank us for it. If we can bring our babies with us to share that experience, one day they may thank us as well. The research only confirms what we all feel, even if has been buried deep within us – we need nature.
Blissful bebe in nature launches 31 March 2021 (forest bathing, babywearing, natural mandala making, tea circle)
Blissful bebe yoga in garden returns in April 2021 (gentle stretching, singing and relaxation for parent and baby)
If you want to get into nature, join our blissful wild tribe! You are so warmly welcome here.
Owner of Blissful Bebe
Please check the Blissful Bebe Facebook page for latest event details and booking.