By Terez Hartmann
How to tap into the healing power of nature.
A Tale of Green and Blue(ish) in Brooklyn…
We’ve all had our moments. And for me, one of the most consistent and powerful medicines that I have found comes from the “mother” of all things: Mother NATURE, a.k.a. “Vitamin N”.
As long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to forest trails, mountains, flowers, and being by some body of water—and all of my best ideas, works and solutions have come from spending time in these natural spaces and places. Even as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I loved being near (and often in) any tree I could find, would run amok when we would drive out to the country, and would walk what felt like blocks (in reality, only one long New York block), and cross over the Belt Parkway, just to be by “the bay” (an extension of the Hudson River called Gravesend Bay), where I could marvel at the movement of the waves and very often soothe my soul.
Compared to some of the magnificent places I’ve explored since then, most would not even give my concrete viewing spot with not-exactly-Caribbean-turquoise-colored-water a second glance, but for me, it was a sanctuary close to home that delivered real medicine for body and mind, and a place for my imagination to take flight.
A Common Branch
Fast forward to today, and I am beyond blessed to get to live in a state (Florida) filled with so many beautiful parks, hiking trails, pristine coastlines, and a multitude of rivers and lakes; but how amazing to know that the trails, waterways, and green spaces I now frequent share the same healing power as being in the presence of a tree that actually had the tenacity to grow in Brooklyn, or my special spot by the bay.
Here is something I did not know: In addition to the beauty, wildlife viewing opportunities, quiet, presence, and inspiration I have perpetually enjoyed when engaging with Vitamin N, science has come to demonstrate its powerful physiological and psychological benefits, including a specific threshold of TIME that can make a real difference in our well-being!
Get Your RDA of Vitamin N
Below is a powerful alignment tool from my “Onward, Upward & Forward!” Master Class (coming soon to Transformation Academy), that shares some awesome data and ways to make the most out of Vitamin N!
Here’s to getting your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin N and experiencing more calm, clarity, hope, creativity, and joy!
STEP 1: Choose Your Medicine
Visit a forest or green space for some phytoncides, a natural chemical produced by trees, that has been proven to:
- Help your immune response: increases NK cell activity that can last for days.
- Reduce inflammation: common forest terpenes temper inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.
- Calm your nervous system: forest air creates a relaxation response.
- Help with depression and elevate your mood: exposure to forest air reduces cortisol levels—the stress hormone—and β-pinene has anti-depressive properties.
- Help with sleep: phytoncides like α-pinene enhance sleep.
- Improve cognition and concentration.
- Improve cardiovascular health.
More about “shinrin-yoku” (a.k.a .“forest bathing”) and the medicine of trees here:
Even wearing the color green or adding green to your environment has benefits! Find out more here: https://www.verywellmind.com/color-psychology-green-2795817
Oceans, rivers, lakes and waterfalls or being in or near water has benefits including:
- The sound of waves and flowing water gives your brain a rest.
- Water creates calm and can induce a meditative state.
- Being near the water inspires creativity.
- Taking a bath levels out the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to create calmness.
- It shifts you to a “big picture” orientation and inspires compassion and connection.
- We are biologically wired with a “blue mind”—even wearing or seeing the color blue is calming!
According to Wallace J. Nichols, marine biologist, “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.”
More about the therapeutic benefits of water here:
Mountains and movement in higher elevation area benefits include:
- They strengthen the heart and deeply reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
- Mountain living is linked to living longer.
- Like being by large bodies of water, being in the mountains inspires “big-picture” thinking.
- Altitude may fight obesity and spur weight loss—even when only visiting.
- Mountain air is cleaner and clearer (less pollution), resulting in easier breathing, especially for those with asthma and, when combined with the benefits of pine forests, also reduces feelings of hostility, depression, and stress.
More here about mountain medicine:
Star-gazing benefits include:
- Gets you out into nature with all the above benefits!
- Sparks creativity.
- Increases well-being and calm.
- Is great for mindfulness and bringing you into the present moment.
- When shared with others, it can encourage social engagement.
More starry-eyed data here:
Being around flowers or adding them to your space can:
- Increases happiness.
- Reduces perceived stress levels.
- Help you feel more relaxed and secure.
- Can lead to a more optimistic outlook on life.
- Many beneficial medicines, supplements, and essential oils are flower-derived.
- Bach flower homeopathic remedies have been used for YEARS to increase well-being.
For more about flower power:
STEP 2: Make Time
Spend at least 120 minutes/week (two hours/once per week or smaller slices that add up to two hours) in nature. Why?
- Science has shown that there is an actual threshold for the very REAL medicine of nature.
- Going forward, doctors may actually prescribe nature time.
Check out this fascinating study in Psychology Today for more information:
STEP 3: Repeat Forever!
- To enhance the health of your mind, body, and spirit!
- To increase your life expectancy and quality of life!
- To discover deep wisdom and insights about life!
The Bottom Line: The Very REAL Medicine of “Vitamin N”
Here’s to knowing there’s a path to green, blue, beauty, light, peace, and inspiration from wherever you may stand, and to working with and benefiting from the awesome and very REAL medicine of Vitamin N.
Never underestimate the power of nature.
Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann is a Visionary Creative & top-rated instructor, Law of Attraction & Allowing YOUR Success specialist, published author, speaker, singer-songwriter, recording & performing artist & composer, “Catalyst for Fab-YOU-lous” and true Renaissance Woman who has already helped over 10,000 students in over 130 countries allow success and live life on FIRE. She is deeply passionate about helping other Powerful Creatives and Leading-Edge Thinkers live unique, empowered lives on their terms by cultivating the courage to dream, to express themselves boldly & authentically, and to focus Onward, Upward and Forward into new possibilities. http://www.terezfirewoman.com