“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread … places to pray in and play in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul.” ~ John Muir, 1901

My family goes to Wyoming every year to get reconnected and refreshed, and to catch some fish. It’s always amazing. Recently I read a research study entitled “Beyond Blue: The National Depression Initiative,” that confirms why I feel so wonderful while I’m in Wyoming, and even when I get home.

Finding Restoration And Tranquility In Nature

The study lists all of the mental health benefits of contact with nature. The participants in the study reported feeling happier, calmer and emotionally uplifted when in woodlands, out in the county, in city parks or in urban gardens. Some of the benefits were reaped simply from thinking of a walk in the country or woods. The act of imagining seeing flowers, hearing birds or water, feeling the sun on your face, even thinking about walking in the wind and the rain is good for us.

A couple of the benefits listed were the calming sensation brought on by listening to the sound of water in a woodland setting, and the sense of stability and continuity given to life in the presence of trees. Walk outside our cabin in Wyoming and you will see dozens of varieties of wildflowers. You experience the smell of the pines, the sound of the birds and the water, the clean, crisp air.

Since we can’t all drop everything and jet off to Wyoming, be encouraged that the study showed that simply going to the park or digging in the dirt in your pots on your deck can bring a similar feeling of emotional well-being.

The List Of Benefits Of Multi-Sensory Therapy (Time In Nature):

Stress reduction
Sense of well-being
Positive expectations
Lack of negative judgments
Trust in oneself
Improved self-esteem
A sense of belonging
Personal renewal

*The study showed that a 3-day woodland trip even has beneficial effects in the body’s immune system.

 Get Outside!

Today, make a point to get outside. Go to a city park. Walk around the block in your neighborhood. Plant something and put it on in the window sill where you see it every day. God made us to be inspired by His creation. He created us to enjoy his handiwork and now, science is proving that nature can encourage and help us in so many ways. Get out there and breathe in the majesty!

 “The Lord is my shepherd,  I shall not be in want,  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” ~ Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)
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