Living in Hollywood for over ten years, it would have been easy for me to never set foot on dirt or grass, but I always made it a point to get outside at least once or twice a week for some kind of activity- primarily hiking in and around the surrounding canyons. I was never told to do it, but I felt a pull to reconnect with nature from time to time, and I feel like this connection is one of the key things that kept me sane in the very real hustle of big city life.
Reconnecting with nature helps to put things into perspective when life seems too overwhelming. The simplicity and quietude of being outside, witnessing and experiencing the complex and beautiful creations of nature can be humbling and make the problems that seem so big when in the confines of four walls, seem much smaller in the grand scheme of things.
When I started researching for this blog, I came across a new concept in the wellness community (that’s actually not so new when you think about it): Ecotherapy! Apparently, we are so out of touch with nature and the outdoors that there are now therapists who help people get back in touch by taking them outside and teaching them how to appreciate the therapeutic benefits of nature.
What might these benefits be? Studies have shown that being in nature can have all kinds of good healthy side effects, stress reduction being a big one. We all know the detrimental effects chronic stress can have on the body, which include elevated blood pressure and other heart conditions, weight gain, diabetes, depression and anxiety. Being in nature (just being, not having to “do” anything), can help lower blood pressure, elevate levels of Vitamin D, relieve stress and anxiety and encourage you to be active and exercise more.
So take the initiative- grab your hiking shoes and some sun protection and get on it! Take a hike!
Are there any hikes or walks that you love around where you live? Share them with us!