The Benefits of Connecting with Nature

The Benefits of Connecting with Nature

Ever since I moved to Austin I’ve noticed that my cortisol has gone WAY down. Austin just has the most ‘mother earth’ energy & being here gives me a lot of clarity. I’m just able to connect with nature a lot more than I ever could when I was in Los Angeles.

COVID & quarantine made people realize how important getting outside & being in nature is for their soul. For me, I can’t be an effective mother, wife or entrepreneur unless I get outside.

Everything from outdoor yoga, grounding, conference calls while walking, swimming in a lake or our pool – Austin is a very nature-based city.

You don’t have to be in a certain city to be in nature though. There are a lot of different tips & tricks for getting outside with your family ( & kids ). Let’s get right into the benefits of connecting with nature & how to do it:

The Benefits of Connecting With Nature:

♡ aids nervous system function

♡ good for eyesight

♡ increases energy

♡ improves memory

♡ regulates emotions

♡ reduces cortisol ( the stress hormone )

♡ increases creativity

♡ increases mindfulness by using the 5 senses

♡ also increases gratitude & appreciation  { via }

Top 5 Ways To Connect With Nature:

♡ touch a tree

This might sound so random, but Michael is 1/4 Japanese & in Japanese culture they’re big on touching & hugging trees. It’s extremely grounding. Now a days it’s known as forest bathing & it’s proven to lower your heart rate & blood pressure. It’s also good for the immunite system & lowers stress.

According to this source, hugging trees release oxytocin which is the hormone responsible for feeling calm & emotional bonding. It also states that hugging a tree is really good for kids, emotionally & cognitively.

I know it sounds a little hippy dippy but I always go outside with Zaza & we touch a tree together. The benefits are crazy & I’ve witnessed first-hand how calming it is.

♡ grounding & a grounding mat

So…grounding is kinda like walking, but you have to be barefoot. Bear with me…

Grounding, or ‘earthing,’ whatever you want to call it, has absolutely changed the game for me.

First, let’s start off with this question: when was the last time you let your bare feet touch the actual earth? Not your marble or hardwood floor, or your carpet. I’m not even talking about your balcony. The actual earth- the grass, the sand, the beach. 99% of people can’t even remember.

Basically the grounding theory is that our body is supposed to have contact with the earth as much as possible ( like with no shoes ). Electrons in free radical form ( yuck- from wifi ) accumulate in us & direct contact with the earth balances this out with the opposite effect. Back in the day this would happen naturally because we weren’t wearing shoes…now we need to make it happen… But let’s dive deep.

Let’s get sciencey:

So essentially, it’s allowing your skin to touch the ions of the earth. My absolute favorite way to do this is by putting my feet in the sand. You should know that I even do this with my daughter. I’ll take her little feet & hands and make sure they touch the earth as often as I can.

How To Ground:

++ Go outside & get your feet in some grass, sand or dirt.

++ Grounding mat. 

The grounding mat I have is by HealthyLine. Basically this mat gives you hot stone therapy, far infrared therapy, negative ion therapy & photon light therapy. You wrap it around your body & the crushed Amethysts provide a calming effect. Amethyst emits a strong & steady flow of negative ions & promotes wellness & an overall better quality of life.

The benefits of negative ions are unreal: purifies your surroundings, counteracts positive ion disturbances ( toxins, chemicals ), attracts harmful airborne particles & pulls them to the ground, assists in detoxification of excess waste in your body, cleanses your mind.

Anyway, as I meantioned the mat has a ton of other therapies that are so beneficial. The ions from the crystals make you feel magical.

This mat is a little pricey so I got a code for you guys! It’s an investment, but if you’re into wellness it’s really a must-have. You can use code THESKINNY10GIFT for 10% off, free shipping & a free gift.

It’s the perfect mat to meditate on or do Wim Hof’s breathwork. This is actually a recommendation from my facialist in San Diego, Mo @heal.theygoddess. She has it on her facial bed so when clients lay down they get this grounding energy. If you’re an aethetician or a masseuse, this is such a great idea.

You could also put it under your sheets at home for all the earthing benefits.

 The Benefits of Grounding:

♡ Reduces inflammation.

♡ Improves sleep.

♡ Improves immunity.

♡ Reduces some factors of cardiovascular disease.

♡ Reduces pain.

♡ Speeds healing time.

♡ Helps with period cramps.

♡ Reduces electric fields induced on the body.

♡ Improves glucose regulation.

♡ Reduces indicators of osteoporosis.

♡ Reduces anxiety & depression.

♡ Supports adrenal health.

♡ Can really cure a hangover. LOL

♡ conference calls while you walk

Working outside, while you walk & get your body moving, surrounded by trees is a good way to passive multitask. If you haven’t heard of this before it’s when you do something productive AND something passive at the same time.

Examples of passive multitasking: listening to an educational podcast while folding laundry, answering emails while walking on the treadmill, returning DMs while you’re at the foot spa– you get it.

♡ exercising outside

Lately I’ve been bringing my yoga mat outside & doing my workouts there. If you can’t exercise outside ( maybe it’s too hot or too cold ), try to exercise near a window.

The gym I go to is a very ‘open’ space surrounding my windows so you can see nature & it makes all the difference, I’m telling you.

The same thing goes for meditating. If you can’t, or don’t want to meditate outside, choose a space in your home where you get some natural light. For more tips on setting up your meditation station, stalk this post. We dive deep into the whole vibe of my Austin meditation space. Think: the best mist, sound bowls & neutral fabrics.

♡ swimming, saunas & The Cold Plunge

Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time in our pool because Zaza is obsessed. Also, Melissa Wood has this 19 minute pool workout that is so good for your ass. Transcendal meditation is also really nice to do in the water.

Being in the pool is a way to be in nature, have time to myself, have time with my daughter & workout. So into it right now.

Sidenote: if you just got a spray tan, wait 3 days to go swimming so your tan doesn’t get all fucked up.

Outdoor barrel saunas are also something I love. Most are made with cedar I believe & IT HAS TO BE outdoor. Indoor saunas to me always smell like gross feet. I can’t explain it, but I’m just not a fan of indoor saunas.

Saunas flush toxins, help cleanse the skin, are good for circulation, help with sleep, can aid recovery after workouts & help relieve stress. Yes plz.

Ok, & now for one of the most energizing things I’m loving lately. The Cold Plunge. Our Cold Plunge is inside our house but I’m thinking of getting one for outside too. The thought of plunging outdoors just really gets me going.

The Cold Plunge is another investment into your wellness so Ryan, the founder, has given all TSC readers a $100 discount with the code SKINNYPLUNGE at thecoldplunge.com.

The Benefits of Cold Plunging:

♡ Speeds up muscle & injury recovery

♡ Reduces inflammation

♡ Supports a healthy immune system

♡ Improves lymphatic circulation

♡ Increases red blood cell count & growth hormone levels

♡ Improves levels of endurance & recovery

♡ Increases cardiovascular health

♡ Improves sleep & reducing stress

♡ more benefits are being discovered

So there you have it. All the ways you can get outside to ground & connect with nature. Would love to know the creative ways you make space in your day to get outside.

Nothing is perfect & no day is the exact same. All the parents out there know that when a baby comes along you need to find pockets of time day for self care. Touch a tree, put your feet in the sand, jump in a lake, whatever.

OH !! Speaking of feet in the sand…I was just on the Tea With Publicity podcast & Alyssa was saying how she can never get to the beach because of living in NYC. I told her to grab a cat’s litter box, go to her parents’ beach house, fill it with sand & keep it under her desk so her feet can be in it while she works. LOL. As you can see, we’re getting creative here. Do what works for you.

If all else fails just put on some nature sounds on your speakers. It’s meditative & sounds so pretty. It’s such a nice sound to wake up to.

Peace, love & trees,

x, lauryn

+ if you’re into meditation check out my favorite sound bowls

++ bring the outside inside with the best wooden bathmat.

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