Connecting With Nature for Soul Therapy
We are living in stressful times.
Ironically, the era that brings us the greatest advances in medical technology and longevity is also the one that brings us the most amounts of stress.
Stress has its uses, naturally; it is intimately connected with danger and recognizing danger is a survival mechanism that we cannot live without.
A car that comes zooming towards you out of nowhere or a person that yells aggressively at you from across the street automatically triggers a response system known as fight-or-flight. Adrenaline kicks in, cortisol kicks in, your heartbeat increases and fat is mobilized for quick energy, hereby preparing your muscles to take action. If it wasn’t for this stress reactor, it’s doubtful we would have lasted long as a species.
But today, stress has grown into a many-headed hydra, a far cry from the original defense mechanism it was originally meant to serve us as. It was only ever meant to protect us from life-threatening issues – not become a way of life. Sadly, for many, especially those who have stressful jobs, demanding domestic lives or financial issues in particular, stress has become the norm. Even when one of the hydra’s heads is lopped off, another one grows back in its place and the vicious, stressful cycle continues.
Naturally, this leads to problems for us on a variety of levels – physically, we may experience hormonal imbalances, weight gain, lethargy, sluggishness, and, in the long-term, more serious issues such as heart problems, diabetes and organ failure. Mentally, we may develop insomnia, anxiety, excessive worry and irritation. And certainly, one thing we can be sure of, is that stress is just as damaging for our souls as it is for our mind and body.
We may become spiritually weak, lacking motivation, vitality and energy. Stress and its many symptoms weigh the soul down, suffocating it until we cannot see the woods for the trees. Our very essence, our passions and our core drive originate from our souls. Our mind and body do all the work, but it is our soul that harbours the life force within and provides us with the energy, determination and passion to pursue our goals and live our dreams. When this soulful energy is under threat, it grinds us down bit by bit, eliminating our zest for life and leaving us a shadow of our former selves.
So, what can we do to combat this?
But how can we help the soul? What medicine is there for the soul? What treatment is there for this powerful entity within us that we can neither see nor touch?
There is one remedy for the soul that serves as the most potent treatment for its ailments and it involves reconnecting with the place on earth that our souls are most comfortable and familiar with: nature.
The trees, woodland, fields, mountains, oceans, seas, lakes, flowers, plants, birds, dogs, cats, wildlife – in nature and the animal kingdom, our souls feel most at home because we all share the same life force within us. In soul terms, there is little to distinguish humans, nature and animals – the life force connects us all. Have you ever taken a walk through a park filled with greenery and ponds and just felt at peace and one with the world? Or spent time with a dog and felt your spirits instantly uplift? The soul recognizes its kindred spirits and, because of this, it is the perfect soul therapy.
Nature is food for the soul. So, when you feel lacklustre, downtrodden and generally dispirited with life, it is likely your soul’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m hungry! Let me spend some time among nature so we can get back on track!” A soul that doesn’t spend much time among nature is a soul that likely feels perpetually starved. Think about it – if you went without proper nourishment, you would start to feel run-down, lethargic and lacking energy too. Our souls need food just as much as our bodies do.
So, here are three things you can do to keep your soul fed, which, in turn, keeps it well-nourished, happy and helps combat stress!
1. Walks Among Nature
One of the best methods of soul therapy is a walk among nature. If you live in a city, finding a park, hopefully with some woodland attached, can be very therapeutic for your soul. Simply the smell of trees and leaves and the sight of the greenery is enough to trigger our senses and trickle this information down to the soul. An hour’s walk among nature not only replenishes the soul, but is also good exercise for our bodies.
2. Spend Time with Animals
If you already have a pet, then you will know the joys and companionship they bring (as well as the mess and muck, but that’s another story!) Animals touch us on a level deep inside us and even assist us as healers. Almost all children love animals and there is a reason for it - when we are young, our souls are at their brightest and strongest, untainted by the challenges and struggles of adult life; we are able to recognize animals for what they are, souls very similar to our own. As we get older, we may sometimes lose this connection, but our souls remember it. That’s why spending time with a dog, cat, rabbit, guinea-pig, hamster, lizard or any other pet is so healing for the soul. Alternatively, feeding the ducks or watching the swans go by on the pond is just as therapeutic.
3. Flower Pots & Plants in the Home
A house filled with flowers and plants is a house filled with life and vitality! We mustn’t underestimate the power of plant pots. Flowers are known to trigger your happy brain chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, bringing you to a happier state of mind and prompting a joyful feeling in your soul. Simply the sight and smell of them is enough to trigger these chemicals – the more colourful, the better!
Remember, the more you feed your soul, the happier and more vibrant you will feel. Our passion, drive, and the essence of who we are comes from the soul.
In the words of C.S Lewis, “You don’t have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a Body.”
If we remember to keep our soul happy, feed it, replenish it and nurture it, then it will not fail us as we strive for our hopes, dreams and the overall well-being of ourselves and others.
Related Article: 5 Best Superfoods to Promote Peaceful Inner Energy