If it’s not obvious by now, I’m a BIG believer in “nature as your healer”. Because time at the lake has always been therapeutic to me, it was natural for me to want to create this brand in a way that gave back to the lakes because they’ve done so much for me. How do I give back? 5% of site sales go to the Surfrider Foundation - Milwaukee, but I also do my best to share resources and tips to help us live more eco-aware lives AND source products that don’t harm the environment.
Over the past few years, somewhat paralleling the creation of this business, my love of mindset work as self-love and dare I say, a human need, inspired me to study and become certified in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), hypnosis, TIME techniques, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/tapping), and Life & Success Coaching. What I realized along the way is that a lot of what I was doing in nature was seeking alignment and getting back to living in the present, which is kinda the magic spot in terms of where you want to live your life from, mindset-wise. For me, time in nature = instant alignment and IN YOUR FACE present-living. Knowing that, my charge to take care of the environment has taken on a whole new meaning - what would we do if the safe spaces we seek in nature for our mental health are no longer safe down the line? I can’t even go there.
As of late, I’ve felt this strong tug to talk more about my mindset journey with you, in particular how nature exists to serve us in this way. It serves us on many levels on a purely survivalist level, but what it does for us beyond that, in terms of inspiration, adventure, challenge, joy, and [insert basically any emotion here] takes us to the fact that nature reflects back to us what it is we need to face.
“They” say that so much of what we experience is really a mirror for what we need to learn, process, or go through to get to the next level, and for me, time in nature is a quick way to see that. And in times when nothing massive is coming up, it’s doing its healing work.
Not convinced this whole mindset and healing and woo woo thing is for you? That’s ok. If you’re open to seeing how nature can shift your emotions, vibration, etc., read on.
Find wonder & awe. Often we’re so caught up in our own stories of stress, pain, and suffering that we can’t even see beyond it. Research shows that even looking at photos of nature scenes (but definitely more effective If you can check out the real thing) shifts your stress levels, but if you can find views that surprise you, shock you, impress you from nature itself, you’re able to distract yourself from your own situation, reframe the scale of the issue, and focus on something that brings a more positive emotion. Choosing emotions even one higher than the one you started at on the emotional scale can do wonders for your life experience.
Spend time in nature. In many forests, you’re exposed to air full of compounds known to do all sorts of good for your immune system, creativity, and yet again, stress levels. Similar benefits are found near water - any kind of water.“Water is considered the elixir and source of life. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface, makes up nearly 70% of our bodies, and constitutes over 70% of our heart and brains. This deep biological connection has been shown to trigger an immediate response in our brains when we’re near water. In fact, the mere sight and sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, increase blood flow to the brain and heart and induce relaxation. Thanks to science, we’re now able to connect the dots to the full range of emotional benefits being on, in, or near the water can bring.”Wallace Nichols, Blue Mind
- Gratitude. Love what you see? Let yourself go on a rampage of appreciation for what you’re witnessing. Bees, butterflies, singing birds, busy squirrels, majestic massive creatures, cool breezes on hot days and warm breezes on cool days, dips in the lake, trees, grass underfoot, epic sunrises and sunsets, and wild weather patterns, when you’re able to stay focused on what you’re witnessing or have witnessed, both so complex and simple, with a heart of gratitude, you are literally moving yourself up the emotional scale which is a proven way to change the way you think, feel, and experience life.
- Soak in the sun. Don’t overdo this one, but spending time in the sun and receiving a boost of vitamin D boosts your mood, increases energy, and (while I can’t find a stat on this…)overall makes problems float away or into the background.
Ditch your shoes or dive in. “Earthing” is a term that simply means spending time immersed in earth-energy, either by walking barefoot on earth, swimming, gardening bare-handed, camping, leaning up against a tree (don’t knock it ‘til you try it), and if you can fit in 20 minutes, you can expect a lot of good. This practice connects us with the vibration of earth itself which has hundreds of benefits, but on the mindset level, it’s known to drop cortisol levels by “cooling” the nervous system, resetting biological rhythms, improving blood pressure and thinning blood, relieving tension and headaches, speeding healing time, reducing jet lag, etc. When your body is in this sort of vibrational harmony, it’s a lot easier to achieve a calm, present, content point of view.
There is a reason why we flock to the lakes, to the coasts, to the mountains, to the forests, to retreats, on vacations, etc. Even when we think we are in control of what we are doing, it’s really nature calling us back to our true roots and a more present, aligned way of life.