For me, nature is healing. Studies also suggest that it’s healing for you too. Everyone is different and not everyone has this intense pull to be outside in nature. And of course, that’s okay. But if you are looking to heal some parts of you that are taking a little bit longer to understand, I think nature might be your answer. I introduce to you the blue mind theory.
The blue mind theory
Have you ever heard of the blue mind theory? In summary, it basically says that people fall into a mild meditative state when they are near, in, or around water. Essentially, there is a peace that is associated with water that we physically feel. Whether we know it or not, there are benefits to being around water.
I personally feel like I can attest to this because when I lived in Burlington, Vermont, I would go down to the waterfront multiple times a week. I found myself at the waterfront even more on the weeks that were more stressful. Is that a coincidence? Maybe. But I really don’t think so. I think that a huge part of me felt very at peace being at the water. Even better was when I got to watch the sun go down. I was able to find some sort of groundedness, but honestly, I didn’t have to work too hard for it. I just had to show up at the waterfront.
The aftermath of my move to Boston
Once I moved to Boston, I was not around water nearly as much. Yes, there is the Charles river and the ocean with a ton of bays, but getting to these locations was not as easy as walking 20 minutes. I never took Lake Champlain for granted, but that doesn’t mean that I miss it any less. Anyways, with me moving, I introduced a lot of new variables into my life. It’s possible that my lack of exposure to water is not the sole reason that I found myself not feeling as happy or as at peace as I used to be. But I definitely think that it does play a very influential role.
As I write this post, I am sitting on a dock, surrounded by water in NY. And I usually need some form of inspiration to write, so I think that that says something. The thing about water is that it’s constantly moving, but not in a way that overwhelms me.
Rensselaerville, New York, Summer 2023
This holds true for nature as well. The birds are constantly chirping, the insects are always flying around, and yet nothing about that makes me feel anxious. But if the birds were people and if the insects were cars, I would feel very differently about the situation. I would 100% feel rushed, uncomfortable, and really any word that is the opposite of peaceful. I think that nature is such a great role model, because it continuously shows us that life is what it is. Nature takes what it can get and just keeps going. Looking to nature to find a form of tranquility is so easy, with hundreds of examples per minute.
How to heal
I do not have all of the answers to your healing journey, but I do think that water can be part of the solution. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes getting access to bodies of water is not always easy. But this is why it’s always so impressive when people are so grounded— they usually have to work really hard for it. They have to put in that extra effort to show up for themselves and put themselves in situations that are better for their overall well-being. It is anything but easy. But it is doable. And I believe that focusing on the blue mind theory will help you achieve this groundedness that you may be seeking.
Today I challenge you to go find a body of water. This link might be helpful: Best Lakes Near Me. A creek, a pond, a big puddle, I do not care how big or how small. Go to it, and see if it brings you any peace.
Safe travels, talk soon!