For many, meditation and prayer is a route to finding inner peace. For others, sitting quietly in a room devoid of distractions is the best way to achieve this state. I find inner peace in nature.
I have a high-stress job in public relations – it’s rated as one of the most stressful jobs in the annual “most stressful jobs” surveys. After all, you have to often manage issues, deal with clients who may have unrealistic expectations of what can be done on a very slim budget. For a period of time, my husband Frank and I escaped our daily work lives by taking short day trips to explore conservation areas and provincial/national parks, hiking trails and other natural areas. We found that at this time we were the happiest – not only because we got exercise and released endorphins but also because we were away from busy city life, traffic and an overwhelming dominance of condominiums, subdivisions and industrial/retail spaces encroaching on our lives.
The Active Way To Find Inner Peace In Nature
My body is soothed getting into a steady rhythm of walking along a trail, with the precise sound of footsteps like a metronome (for you non-musical types, this is a tool that helps sound out beats so you keep to a rhythm while playing music). Similarly so, doctors and researchers have found that many heart surgery patients heal faster with meditation or prayer where similar words are repeated over and over again at certain beats per minute. The steady rhythm of what you are saying aligns with your heart beat, keeping it steady and allowing for better post-surgery recuperation. Getting into a natural rhythm is a way to relax and balance your inner self. With few obstacles on natural hiking trails, you can achieve this rhythm fairly easily and quickly.
Hiking or walking along trails also keeps your mind off of things that may be plaguing your everyday life. As you are in beautiful, peaceful settings your eyes and mind are distracted from issues that dominate your thoughts.
Natural Colours Soothe
Even the colours of nature are relaxing and pleasing. Consider the calming effect of the colour green, so dominant in grasses, plants and trees. Neutral browns, beiges, taupes and sandy beige colours are also relaxing – this is why so many homes that have these colour schemes sell fast in comparison to those with garish bright colours.
Even a splash of colour in a sea of green can be pleasing to the eye and to the soul. Flowers and some weeds such as dandelions or wild chicory make us happy and content when we look at them.
The sound of birds chirping. The rustle of wild grasses as a wind blows through them. The music wind makes when passing through pine trees. All of these sounds are so much easier on the brain than the noise of driving cars, groups of people talking and shouting and city life.
Research has found that music reduces stress. For many, New Age music (think Dan Gibson’s Solitudes series, which I love!), which often features tracks of natural sounds such as animal sounds, “babbling brooks”, or waves hitting the shoreline, is the solution to relieving stress. Spas and yoga studios alike will use this type of music to set the atmosphere.
Nature makes music! It’s good to take a moment to sit down on a log or by a stream and just listen.
Studies have shown that even looking at a photo of a natural setting can re-focus your mind, so I’ve shared with you some of my favourite photos of places where I find peace in nature.
How do find inner peace in nature? What is it about natural settings that appeals to you the most?