Shifting attitudes with nature

What makes a day good or bad? It’s depends on how we perceive it. Yep, how we view the world is all in our heads, our minds, our thoughts. A day doesn’t have to be good or bad, it can just be. But us humans (meaning me) tend to overthink everything, placing often skewed weight and value on every word and deed, and creating a lot of unnecessary suffering in the form of worry, anticipation, fear, circular thinking, and judgement. Being present and mindful is the best way to stop the suffering, and that takes daily practice. In my own life I’ve found that one of the most effective ways for me to adjust my attitude, bring myself back to the present moment, and reduce the suffering is to spend time immersed in nature.

Right now, where I live, we are experiencing a brief reprieve from the incessant rains of the past 8 months (Yay!), and both the sunshine and blue skies have been immediate and effective mood-lifters. Spring is also showing in the early blooms of trees and wildflowers, the bright and cheerful songs of birds, and the calling of frogs.

I took a nice long hike at a local nature preserve yesterday and my forest bath and re-connection to the plants and animals of the woods and fields did wonders – as always – for my attitude, lifting my spirits and reminding me just how lucky I am to be alive and healthy and able to be outdoors where I feel so connected to the universe. When I awoke today, I smiled and welcomed the morning.

For me, there is no more powerful antidote to a bad attitude than spending time being present with the plants and animals of the wild woods, rivers, lakes, wetlands, mountains, and beaches, gathering their energy into my heart. I am truly grateful to know the power of nature’s medicine in this way.

What’s your antidote for a bad attitude? Do you turn to nature, too? If so, what is your favorite place for re-nourishment?

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