Credit: Martin Borgman via Flickr.

By Lindsay Seventko, Communications Intern

“Deviation from nature is deviation from happiness.”—Samuel Johnson

As we rush through our ever increasingly busy lives, we wait for the rare weekend that we can spend time reconnecting with nature and ourselves. For some, these opportunities come only once or twice a year, but time spent in nature is so essential to human well-being — it restores us psychologically, emotionally and even physically. For those of us who can’t regularly spend days or weekends reconnecting with the wild, we can still incorporate aspects and reminders of natural life within our daily routines. Use these tips to stay connected with nature right in the middle of your everyday, busy life.

Visualize Every Morning

It’s no secret that many of the world’s most effective leaders, businessmen and innovative thinkers credit their success in part to meditation. The physical benefits have been well-documented — it helps lower high blood pressure, improves mood and clarity and strengthens immune systems. But, how can meditation help you connect to nature? Simple visualization exercises of nature, done for only a few minutes every morning, can center, focus and ready you for the day around the calming visualization of experiencing nature.

Workout Outside

Even in today’s busy world, many people still find time to fit in exercise, albeit usually in a crowded, antiseptic-smelling gym under fluorescent lighting while music blares through our headphones. Whatever your standard preferred workout is, consider switching it up by running on a forested trail, practicing yoga in a quiet park or doing an at-home routine in the light of your backyard sun. While you’re outside, allow a few minutes to fully relax and be present — soak in the sun, wiggle your toes in the dirt or stare at the clouds or stars. Allow your mind to focus, even for just a few minutes, on only the elements of nature surrounding you.

Be Present and Observe

As we go about our daily lives, we experience a lot more time outdoors than we realize or take advantage of. Whenever you’re out and about, try to stay focused on the present. Let go of the thoughts about what you have to do once you arrive at your destination, ignore the urge to check your phone and simply notice the nature surrounding you. Admire the flowers lining the sidewalk, take in the trees and discover that bird’s nest near your office. Focusing on the little elements of nature that you experience throughout the day, instead of listening to music or worrying about what’s coming up next, will clear your mind, calm and refresh you throughout the day, without taking up any additional time.

Nurture a Plant