The Relaxing Healing Power of Nature
Stress is bad for your health. It impairs your immune system and speeds up the aging process. When you are stressed you also eat more and have less energy. Relaxation is good for your health. Most people find being around nature relaxing.
Nature is not always relaxing but I am talking about places you would feel safe. If you can not get outside you can visualize being in nature, look at nature photos, watch videos or listen to nature sounds. When I meditate I visualize being at the beach to relax my mind. Nature sounds are very popular.
People often listen to nature sounds to help them relax or go to sleep. Sounds like those caused by water can be very relaxing. You can find lots of relaxing nature photos, videos and sounds on the internet. Google maps is a good resource for finding parks and beaches to visit.
To make the most of your relaxing nature experience you can take photos or make a video or audio recording. That way you can use them to help you relax at home. You can also practice visualizing so you can replay the experience in your mind.
Why nature can be relaxing
A good way to relax is to focus your thoughts. For example people that meditate often focus on their breathing as part of the relaxation process. When you focus on your breathing the number of thoughts going through your mind is reduced. I think nature is often relaxing because your thoughts are focused on the moment. The environment stimulates your senses without overwhelming you.
I like going to the beach or the lake shore to relax. Feeling the breeze and the sun, seeing the peaceful surrounding and hearing the animals and water focuses my thoughts. If you took away the things that stimulate your senses there would be nothing to focus on. As a results you would be thinking about a lot of other things.
When people have trouble relaxing or sleeping because they have too much mental chatter nature sounds can focus their thoughts. Once the mental chatter is reduced it is easier to relax and go to sleep. Looking at nature photos or watching nature videos can have a similar effect.
An indoor pool would not stimulate your senses like an outdoor beach can. Besides stimulating your senses the environment should be comfortable and feel safe. You should be able to close your eyes without worrying.
Looking at people or man made objects can lead to desires that make it hard to focus on the moment. For example you may start thinking about things you want like money, a better body, a car etc.
Some Good Places to Relax
- Picnic areas near water
- Mountain or hill tops
- Places with wild animals
- Boating in rivers, lakes or oceans
- Biking on roads with very little traffic