Tag Archives: nature meditation

Reconnecting with nature – 8 point health plan

IMG_2264Constant emotional stress is extremely harmful, especially over an extended period of time. The result: Our body is on permanent alert  with many body functions more or less in standby-mode.

We are naturally programmed to react to perceived dangerous situations with our bodies being put on alert by such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol that increase heartbeat  and blood pressure, in turn triggering flight or fight responses.

When the threat has passed these stress hormones are supposed to return to normal levels so that all body organs can resume their normal functions.  In our modern world that is often not the case because we are not taking time-out for exercise, good nutrition, breaks etc. An over-exposure to the main stress hormone cortisol can lead to a host of health problems including high blood pressure, the risk of heart attack, an immune-system breakdown, anxiety, mood changes and weight gain. An excellent way of getting those cortisol levels down is by taking a time-out in nature.

We come from and are part of nature. Living in cramped, noisy and stressful big city environments is only a recent phenomenon in human evolution. Re-atuning our senses of hearing, smell and touch by taking a walk in a park or forest can be of enormous benefit in winding down from the onslaught of external stressors.

Take a real break by leaving the office desk and taking a 15-20 minute walk. Awaken your senses to the sounds of nature. You can stop by giving all your attention to just one pleasant sound of nature: a bird singing, the rushing of a stream or fountain. Try and inhale the smell of a blooming flower or wild herbs next to a path. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin or a gust of cool air.

The benefit of all this: Our immediate environment is responsible for stress increase or reduction. It influences our immune, endocrine and nervous systems. Numerous research concludes that positive nature experience reduces anxiety, fear, lowers blood pressure and has a positive influence on the heart beat and muscle pressure and especially helps to bring down those cortisol levels.

Reino Gevers – consultant, coach, author

http://www.powerbodymind.de

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Filed under blood pressure, cortisol, cortisol effects, exercise mental health, healing nature, immune system, stress hormones, Uncategorized

Reconnecting to the web of life

Humanity’s disconnect to the web of life, the lack of respect and awareness for the many parts of the bigger whole, has got us into a pretty dire predicament.

Some theorists would argue that man is a predator by nature and that it is all about the survival of the fittest, falsely quoting Darwin who was in reality very much aware of the intricate inter-connection of all living things.

Any species which fails to find its niche in the web of life becomes extinct because the earth or “creation intelligence” always finds a means of discarding that which becomes a threat to everything else. It is something you become acutely aware of by spending alone time in nature or in the wilds.

I’ve had some of my deepest spiritual experiences while hiking alone in the Pyrenees mountains, the Spanish Camino and the African bush where simply by observation you begin to realize that every plant, beetle, bird, antelope or predator is there for a reason and plays its small part in sustaining life as a whole.

Lichtblick

My theory is that humanity’s disconnect from the web of life is partly the result of alienation from nature and the “materialist-theoretical” approach to religion rather than intuitive spirituality that our forebears practised in the mystic traditions.

As hundreds of millions of people continue to move to urban areas there is a real danger that the alienation from our true destiny will continue. A growing number of people in the wealthier countries are living alone in apartments and getting lonelier and lonelier as they grow older and their already fragile support network of friends starts falling away.

In my previous blog I mentioned how much we are influenced and shaped by the people around us. Our health, our happiness and our lifespan depend on how well we are accepted, integrated and valued in that community we cherish. Loneliness is perceived as physical pain and is responsible for many psychological disorders. Read this interesting report on what people in Sardinia seem to be getting just right and why many of them stay healthy well over the age of a 100.

The biggest challenge faced by humanity is to rediscover that bond to the web of life and to make the switch from predator to custodian, protector and nurturer. Here are just some ways of reconnecting:

  • Sitting meditation with emphasis on the natural breathing sequence of inhaling and exhaling
  • Walking “things off” and reconnecting with your natural rhythm on a longer hike, preferably for several days. Its a wonderful way of detoxing your mind and body.
  • Any of the body arts such as yoga, taiji and qi gong have been practised and perfected over many generations as a way of reconnecting with your mind and body.
  • When outdoors in nature find just one sound to concentrate your mind on. It could be a bird chirping or the wind blowing through the trees. You will feel very relaxed after only a few minutes.

I had an amazing experience on one of my walks when I connected to a blackbird singing in a tree nearby. It responded by following me for several kilometres, hopping from tree to tree and on the track ahead. It was an amazing experience of connection.

Info:

Why face-to-face contact matters in a digital world

Yield and Overcome – How change can positively impact our lives

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Filed under body arts, connection, healing nature, meditation