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Nature Therapy: How to Use the Outdoors to Improve Your Mental Health

By: Natalie Viglione

Nature is at the core of how we improve our lives. Nature and mental health; Nature and spirituality; Nature and health... more Nature is needed because Nature is therapy!

Here's how we can all use the outdoors to improve our mental health, overall well-being, and more.

Some key observations...

On a recent trip to the South Carolina Charleston area to get our dose of some ocean, my husband and I looked around and thought... wow, when did it get SO bad?

On this trip, we're staying at a beautifully-designed place with the kind of ornate, gorgeous trees you find in the Southeastern area of the U.S. with elegant moss-like drippings that hang down, and these trees hold ancient vibrations. Every time I touched one, I felt the wisdom flowing within.

Yet, in this carefully designed home, where the rooftop patio feels more like a treehouse, the one thing missing around us were humans out enjoying the Nature that surrounds them in their backyards!

This area in Mt. Pleasant, SC, there are lots of homes around us and we could see many of their perfectly manicured backyards (all the yards back up against a waterway), and these were the kinds of yards that had the "perfect everything" going on. The perfectly groomed lawns, pools, and the oh-so-perfectly designed landscaping. Clearly spending nothing less than a small (or maybe large) fortune on designing these great yards, yet we hardly saw anyone enjoying them. Many days have gone by without seeing any humans, and this made us wonder what's wrong with this picture?!

Typically, we spend most of our time (besides sleeping) outdoors that we can when it's not raining, of course. We are on our patio at home constantly (as much as when we're away visiting some other region), so we're always working outside, doing some exercise like TaiChi and Qigong outside. Sometimes it's just simply sitting and observing the skies and trees, and saying hello to the little ducks, geese and their little babies, squirrels, birds, etc. that come by -- you name it!

We live in the ancient mountains of North Carolina in a "community" and it's a forced community, not an intentional community by any means. We're currently in the process of configuring the land we purchased in T.N. so until then, we're living here which is not ideal, but it is what it is for now. This complex has somewhere in the 1,000 people range living within it as it is a huge apartment/townhome "community." There are large grassy areas and little ponds where the rainwater collects all year round, which make for great Nature integration for there is lots of life in them.

With all the grassy areas and ponds around us, it continues to baffle us as to how many people are NEVER outside. How is it that we have that many people in this area, yet we can count on two hands how many people we see using their patios or the grassy areas? It reminds us that so much of humanity has cut itself off from Nature, yet it awaits us daily and is usually found right outside the front (or back) doors!

It really got me thinking about how this jives with the state of health in this world (massively so here in the U.S.); as this disconnection worsens, so has the collective state of humanity's health. This kind of disconnect happens anywhere (not just in the U.S., as I've seen it all over in travels, to be fair), and there are many of us globally who choose NOT to live separately from Nature. But, if we look close enough, we can see how many people do NOT integrate Nature into their lives adequately, and because of this, we can clearly see how much harm this does to a person's overall health and well-being.

A disconnection from Nature means we forget that we are indeed also Nature.

It's evident when we think about the number of toxins sprayed consistently, with far too many people not blinking an eye to this. I know the real problem here is education. Many people just don't know the real implications, but it's definitely time that we talk about this openly and share the knowledge of the harm these toxins do. Education needs more people speaking up so more and more truth can be unleashed!

I also know that some people do know the implications, yet choose to be IGNORant. IGNORant is my word for those that choose to ignore things and not see them or speak about them, which is different than lacking education on a subject.

To this point, the other morning on this trip, I took our two pups out on a walk and saw a pesticide truck drive into the driveway. I always notice these kinds of things, as I am on high alert. I will chase these people down to stop them from spraying until they tell me what they're spraying. It's important to note that the people I've stopped never know what they're spraying, and then I have to do the rest of the research myself to figure it out, and it's never, ever good.

As I stood at the pond that was too far away to say or do anything, I could see this man using a gas-powered poison machine spraying every bush or small tree around the entire perimeter of the fence (inside and out). When I say spray, I actually mean totally and completely drenched. It was a gas-powered blower of these chemicals! If there was ANY life in the many bushes and little trees, it was now drowned in poison.

Yikes. To me, this serves up yet another critical observation about the disconnection from Nature...

We must realize that we don't need to allow cockroaches to overwhelm our homes, but there are SO MANY OPTIONS of what we can do that are NOT poisonous to all life. We must also realize that "weeds" are not pests, but rather medicinal plants waiting to be used. I won't stray too much on this topic, but as you can see I'm beyond passionate about it. It's yet another observation of how too many people treat Nature. Poison isn't needed...

I should mention here, as you've probably already deduced, that I am deeply connected to Gaia and all the flora and fauna of this realm. I have been deeply connected since childhood, and over the years, I've realized that I've been linked to the consciousness of Gaia for a long, long time. More so, it's a connection into the Primeval Divine Feminine Energy (primeval means there is no beginning or end). I've had many "download sessions" that come through via automatic writing, as well as magnificent memories and learning sessions come through via dreams, visions, and meditations.

Being this deeply connected, I don't just see the toxic chemicals being sprayed; I FEEL them. I feel what Gaia feels, and the primordial being within me at the soul level (Higher Self and the multidimensional aspects) are connected to the Ancient Builder Races (the Guardians), and my Higher Self was involved in helping Gaia, this Celestial Being, bring life to fruition many, many millions upon millions of years ago.

I've had many visions and awakenings of these memories, so Gaia is like my child, just as much as I'm a child of Gaia. We together exchange these "mothering" energies and so all of Nature feels like they're "my babies," and every time I see poison being sprayed, I cry for how far humanity has strayed, because poison sends ripples of pain into All Things (because All Things are One).

We can fix this, though, you and I, and all those connected to Nature or reconnecting again (and hopefully many more awakening to this need). We can stand up and say no more, connect deeply to All Things via the Nature around us, and stop people from spraying these horrible toxins. Gaia's health is connected to humanity's health (inasmuch as it is every other living thing). The truth is, though, the Earth has a far better ability to handle the toxins by transmuting them via the alchemical powers of flora and some fauna, but that doesn't mean we should EVER use poisons!

Humans have different alchemical capabilities for many reasons, but we must utilize healing both metaphysically and physically (since toxins are now in our air, food, and water supplies), and this makes the healing journey a little more complicated.

Using Nature as therapy is more accessible than we think, but there are some things we must be honest about first, like the following:

  • We're living in times where humans have more THINGS than ever before but are less fulfilled.
  • Humans have bigger and bigger homes, yet get further away from what matters (e.g., Nature).
  • We have more food in most places worldwide but fewer nutrients than ever in the food (including the soil), and there are more toxic poisons in all things, including the water and air.

If we can all see these truths, then we each can choose to help stop all of this insanity and step up as Warriors for Gaia and stand up for what's right for all Living Beings on this Earth (humanity included).

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How Can We Use the Outdoors to Improve Our Mental Health?

To help ease the symptoms of being overworked, overstressed, high anxiety, depression, etc. (all impacting mental health severely!), Nature can be one of the BIGGEST healing supporters.

In the years I've been working closely with people in my own businesses via life (metaphysical) and business guidance, and now as a Master Herbalist in training talking about how we heal humanity (and Earth), I realize that daily infusions of healing practices are often not consistently followed. This becomes a real problem.

One of the first things I work with people on in any aspect is the ability to commit and make promises to ourselves that we WILL do what we must do and show up every day in that spirit.

Bringing Nature Therapy into your life and making a solid commitment to do it for YOU (because YOU deserve the healing it will provide) will make a massive impact and improve your life. Consistency in these things is far too often the missing ingredient, so let's make that the FIRST ingredient in a new recipe for healing!

Now, let's dive into some fantastic healing practices that use Nature at its core and things that can be NEW choices to bring into your daily life:

1. CHOOSE TO DIG INTO THE EARTH EVERY DAY. Because of the sheer lack of integration into the beauty of Nature that is abundant on this Earth, the first thing that must be done is CHOOSE IT. Choose to find a spot that you can go to daily, or at least as often throughout a week as you can, and this spot should have some soil/grass so that you can take your shoes off and get your feet soaked up in some earth! There are far too many studies to list here, but this one place has essential data you can explore about this "earthing."

And it's far from new! This is a primordial concept that the ancients knew. So it needs to become a critical part of life as this practice helps even out the imbalances of frequencies in the body (an imbalance of frequencies directly affects mental health).

2. CHOOSE TO LOOK WITHIN INSTEAD OF OUTSIDE OF YOU. Humanity suffers more than ever because there is an endless need to get fulfillment OUT THERE somewhere. This "go and find it" concept plagues the world, but life can be found within us. Life can be found in the things that surround us everywhere through the trees, birds, bees, flowers, plants of all kinds, etc. Look within to remember and reawaken the magick that lies within your soul because it's there that you'll find a deep knowing that EVERYTHING is conscious. The grass, plants, trees, animals, insects, minerals/crystals... all conscious! Seeking does not have to be far away; it can be found EVERYWHERE (especially within you)!

Choose to be with life as much as you can every day; find the plants, trees, and animals, and connect with them in a place that allows you to immerse yourself in them. We can indeed see this life in many areas. In fact, I lived in NYC for 9 years, and even there, one can find this kind of life in Central Park. Truth is, we have to look close enough and we can find it!

3. LET GO OF MATERIALISM AND THE WORLD "OUT THERE" TO EMBRACE NATURE. When we let go of the materialism syndrome (as I call it) that plagues this world, we can begin to see the beauty that surrounds us and can connect more deeply to Nature. Healing has never been found in that new tech gadget (i.e., iPhone), nor is "success" or "happiness" found in that new house that's bigger and usually backed with a desire within to impress others.

Healing the overall state of our mind, body, or spirit are never found in expensive brand-name cars, shoes, clothes, etc., either. This is something that can seep into many of our lives without us even truly realizing the hold it has on our souls (confining and binding them to superficiality). The point is, when we choose to let go of these kinds of wonton desires of the "out there" world, we can automatically decrease anxiety and overwhelm. We choose to then stop "impressing those out there" and start connecting with our real, true selves (the soul) and the beauty of Nature around us). Realizing how much these materialistic things do not matter allows us the freedom to stop worrying about petty things and start worrying about the things that DO matter!

It doesn't mean you must suffer and let go of all your belongings, shave your head, and go find a monastery to join, but rather it means putting far less importance on things like this because they do not matter. We can't take the materialistic shit with us when we die, so that we all must remember!

What DOES matter are your values, so dig deep and get back to those. The TRUE you matters. Nature matters. The Earth matters. Gaia (as a consciousness, a celestial being) matters. Getting immersed in Nature daily brings us back to what matters.

If you've already let this go, share this wisdom with others and open up that throat chakra! Don't have fear to speak truth, that is another key to healing... speaking up and sharing!

4. REAWAKEN THE PRIMORDIAL WISDOM OF WHAT "MEDITATION" MEANS. There is a HUGE emphasis on meditation (because it is life-changing AWESOME), yet many people say too quickly that they "can't meditate" because their minds are so busy. This can lead to abandoning a meditation practice before a person allows themselves to find what works best. There are all kinds of things that we can do to meditate! Meditation doesn't have to be sitting in a lotus position with your hands on your knees saying "Om." That's a way, but it's not THE way.

From my lens, meditation is any activity where you and your mind (aka thoughts) slow down and disconnect. It doesn't mean being withOUT thoughts; it means being at peace WITH our thoughts. Allowing them to come in, letting the feelings go through, and observing any consistent thoughts, but the key is to not lean into any one idea or emotion, causing yourself to get lost.

And the key is doing it while sitting on the Earth as this blends all the goodness together into a harmonious package for the mind, body, and spirit.

Meditation can be strolling in Nature.

It can be sitting down in Nature while you just watch the birds, squirrels, etc., and just be with them quietly as you softly just allow them to observe you while you observe them.

Meditation is doing energy work via TaiChi and/or Qigong outside. These are moving meditations and powerful energy work, especially Qigong. If you have overwhelming feelings of anxiety or depression, Qigong is a practice alone that can be the very thing your soul needs. Then when you add the aspect of doing the practice in Nature, it'll be a winning combination.

You see, emotions get trapped in tissues, and it's a fact that Qigong is MOVING the energy out of the tissues bringing more balance to the subtle body. I can personally attest to the tremendous changes that this practice brings.

These practices (Qigong especially) have done far more for me than anything I've done for a long time, which is a long list of many activities I've done consistently (every week) since I was in my 20s. I did all kinds of running (even races), playing sports like soccer, yoga, HIIT, pilates, walking or hiking, and so much more... I did so much running before I got a herniated disc and then I had to find other ways to MOVE this body and it has been quite a feat finding the perfect thing for me. That's another article altogether, but at this point in time due to where I am at in my healing, Tai Chi and Qigong are perfect because it moves energy faster than any yoga or HIIT session I've ever done in ~20 years! I was surprised to find this to be true, and so maybe they can be your winning combo, too (well, more like winning trio because the other element is to do these OUTSIDE as often as you can with your feet on the Earth).

Aw... the healing power of Nature! I could go on and on and on and...

This is a small list of the kinds of Nature therapy that can change your life forever. Doing these things (consistently) can also allow Gaia to become a powerful ally and healing agent for you, too.

The more humans heal themselves through the connection back into Nature (by connecting deeply and authentically), the more it will help Gaia heal by letting this powerful being know that you send love and are connecting again into Gaia to its core energy.

As more and more awaken to the magick of the Law of One (which simply means that All things are connected energetically and consciously), we can also start to shift consciousness in a massive way. When you become another person that connects DEEPLY in this way, it would mean that you're another soul helping to send ripples of healing through All Things in this realm awakening that lightworker within you more and more!​

We can all choose to be the healer we seek, and we can find guidance to support us in others that have faced similar situations. And by bringing in our powerful friends of Nature and Gaia who will support us via deep connection into that energy.




I have a Guided Visualization for you! This is a powerful 25-minute visualization to connect into the Tree of Knowledge within you; the Infinite Intelligence of Nature within, and receive the message that your Higher Self has for you today ...