Chances are, if you’re like most Americans, you’re deficient in your daily requirements of nature. As described by Dr. Frank Lipman, nature promotes good health, and you probably need more of it. With a premise that “living” doesn’t quite include living completely indoors, Dr. Lipman has brought light to a subject with importance for all people.
How Can One Be Nature Deficient?
Being nature deficient is just what is sounds like: because we are all ‘beings’ of nature, we should spend time in nature, as it helps nourish our bodies and keeps us in balance with the natural systems of the world. As Lipman argues, when we spend time indoors and away from the natural world, we end up “with dulled senses, suppressed immune systems, depressed spirits and sharply increased risk for illness and disease. ”
This isn’t some condition big Pharma can fix with a pill, either. Rather, becoming nature sufficient “comes from the things we do to promote our well-being,” like spending time at the beach, in the woods, and/or immersed in the natural world. Lipman’s assertion is backed up with science, too. As the University of Illinois has found, children with ADHD greatly benefit from time in nature, lending a hand to the ‘nature as a cure‘ hypothesis.
Steps to Combat Nature Deficiency
Lipman offers some of his own steps to combat nature deficiency. Each step helps get you back in touch with nature and supplies you with what you need to avoid a deficiency:
- Love the Sun: Sunshine is essential for good health. It enables vitamin D production, which is important for immunity and and warding off disease. Get yourself a few rays of sunshine everyday!
- Breathe Deep: Another drab of the indoor life is the indoor air quality. Get out of this everyday by taking time to go on a walk and breathe some fresh air! It will “clear your lungs, boost alertness and reduce your exposure to office toxins. “
- Don’t go Overboard: As Lipman whimsically puts it, you don’t have to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro to get the nature you need, so keep it simple. Just get yourself outdoors! Maybe 10 minutes in the park or just sitting outside – even if it is small scale, that dose of nature will help!
- Keep Open Ears: Replace the sounds of the city with the sounds of nature and the outdoors. This will help relax you and restore your mood!
- See New Sights: Just like when you stress your muscles and gain strength, giving your eyes some attention can help the vision. Lipman encourages exposing yourself to the changing colors and lights of the outdoors to keep your eyes strong and prepared for what’s ahead. It may even make you smarter!
- Dare to Explore: Finally, Lipman encourages really engaging with the earth. Get in physical contact with the world and get to know it as best you can. This physical connection will help strengthen the mental, providing for a holistic bonding between you and nature.
With these steps in mind, start working on putting nature into every days. Live with nature and find yourself with better health, a better mood, and better living!
Originally published 17 Sept. 2011.