Shockingly Simple Steps for Reconnecting with Mother Nature

Outside is more than just that place beyond your walls and windows. It's a place of wonder and healing – a place to connect with the self in remarkable ways.

At times, though, it can be difficult to breakaway from our often indoor-driven lives. Work demands us to remain at our desks, and socializing seems to have become more and more of an online experience. It's not uncommon for people to rarely get outdoors and really connect with the world around them.

With this in mind, set an intention to work on your connection with Mother Earth. Reflect on how much time you spend outside, away from the luxuries and materialism that define most modern life. Realize that the more time you spend outdoors, the more you're doing for both your mental and physical well-being.

What are the ways you're connecting with the outdoors? Here are some of our favorites:

Hike for Health

Hiking is a great way to reconnect with the world around you. Not only does it provide a vigorous exercise, but it's also is one of the most intimate ways you can explore Mother Nature. Hiking brings you into nature. You find yourself on the trail, boots in the mud, with birds chirping and trees swaying around you. The air feels fresher, and the sense of serenity is in the air. It's no wonder hiking and exploring the outdoors has been linked to a healthier, longer, and more fulfilling life.

Boost Immunity, Get Your Hands Dirty

Another great way to connect with nature is in the garden. Whether it's your personal vegetable garden or tending to your assorted house plants, getting your hands dirty is actually one of the healthiest practices you can do. The hygiene hypothesis, as it's known, is the theory that exposing yourself to microbes – especially at early ages – improves immunity. Of course, a great place to find these microbes is in the soil bed of your garden!

Not only does gardening connect you with nature and improve your body's immune system, but it also has been linked to improving mental health by relieving stress and boosting mental clarity. Without a doubt, the rewarding feeling you have after successfully growing a plant is unlike any other. Gardening truly can put a smile on your face. Read more about the health benefits of gardening.

Animal Watching

While it seems like the benefits of animal watching would be intangible, it's something we've all felt before. It's that emotional response of awe or wonder – the feeling of something 'beyond words.' In this embodied space of wildlife, be it in a flock of birds or herd of buffalo, our social constructs quickly dissolve and are replaced with stillness and spectacle. Here, the mental euphoria brings us closer to nature, encouraging balance and serenity.

Stay Connected to Mother Earth

By exercising our connection to Mother Earth, we benefit body and mind in many ways. As part of an active yoga practice, this helps us maintain positivity and direction in our lives, improving mood and ultimately encouraging us to be better yogis. Be sure to schedule regular outings into your practice, perhaps even incorporating them into your yoga routine (considering hiking to a view point, then spending time there practicing yoga). When you do, you'll feel the benefits almost immediately.

How do you stay connected with nature? Tell us in the comments below!