“The soul expands in response to what it sees” – Anonymous
We see thousands of media advertisements every day. Digitally altered, these images are selling us on an unrealistic idea of perfection. Perfection according to mainstream media comes in different forms: perfect body, perfect partner, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect relationship, perfect smile, perfect home, perfect car, perfect kitchen, even perfect laundry. In regards to man made items, there is no such thing as perfect. Some philosophers romanticize the beauty of nature as being the only perfect creations in the world. Roses are remarked as being such a perfect creation, they are protected by thorns. Alice Walker once wrote, “in nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” Nature reminds us of our perfect imperfections. When we gaze at a landscape, it is doubtful we spend our time criticizing each imperfect detail of what we see. Instead, we marvel at the magnificence of nature’s whole- a respect we rarely pay to ourselves.
Spending time in nature is good for the mind, body, and spirit. We find ourselves relaxed when we disconnect from those relentless and rigorous demands of daily life and inundating media. Our blood pressure drops and our brain actually expands. New findings from Body Image journal suggest that spending time in nature helps us see ourselves in that very same broad acceptance. Nature enhances our perception of our own bodies.
Adults who spent more time in nature had higher scores in an evaluation of body appreciation. The evaluation included the level of respect one has for their body as well as their level of willingness to reject cultural norms and unreachable ideals perpetuated by the media. High self-esteem, connectedness, and feelings of “oneness” were also common in the adults with high exposure to nature. Positive body image directly correlated with the higher senses of self-esteem and connection.
Being in nature allows us to focus on what our body is capable of versus what is wrong with it- as dictated by daily media messages. As a result, we develop a greater sense of respect for our bodies, feeling physically empowered.
Enlightened Solutions sees the divine transformation of the spirit, mind, and body, that can take place through recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Our treatment programs for men and women offer a foundation in holistic practices, encouraging complete healing. There is hope. We have a solution. If you or a loved one are suffering, please call 833-801-5483 for more information.