Naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” Thoreau and many others advocate for spending as much time as possible in nature and in fact, our ancestors lived amongst nature all of the time. With each generation, we’re getting more and more removed from nature and its rhythms. The short answer is, the more time you spent in nature, the more benefits you will reap and the more connected you will feel. However, daily life doesn’t always allow for living in nature. The poet Sylvia Plath reminds us that nature is the true source of happiness and the more, the better: “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery, air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, this is what it is to be happy.”
While the poets, scientists, writers, artists, philosophers, and naturalists all advocate spending as much time in nature as you possibly can, studies show that just a short walk in nature once or twice a day is a solid start. You can reap some of the benefits just by taking a twenty or thirty-minute walk in nature each day, such as decreased cortisol and inflammation, reduced depression, a boosted immune system, and improved concentration. It’s safe to say that the more time you spend in nature, the greater the benefits, and there are many ways to incorporate the earth’s natural rhythms into your life. Getting up with the sunrise and watching the colors, sunbathing for fifteen minutes, keeping a window open near your work area, and playing outdoor sports are all easy ways to get more attuned with the earth. When we give it a chance, nature’s magnetism and scenery will direct us right and offer true happiness, as Thoreau and Plath remind us.
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery offers an experience like no other through a proven, 12-step, adventure-based wilderness program. For more information, call us today: 801-921-8488.