Reason why this article is written is with the gentle wish to nudge us back to nature. To appreciate the beauty that nature had to offer….with no charge and fine prints. We had become so disconnected and stressed that we have forgotten that nature provide us one of the most effective way to unwind.
If you look around you, often people would either walk with an engrossed expression or a downcast face, as if the weight of the world is resting on their shoulders, or trying to balance walking in high heels and fiddling with their Smartphones. Or in their own world with the song from their iPod, Smartphones or MP3 blasting away on the earphones.
For me, going back to nature feels very comforting. When I was staying in the forested area with very poor network coverage and no electricity- everything felt so peaceful. On clear nights, the sky is blanketed by stars and when the moon appears, we can almost read by the moonlight. And the sounds of flowing water in the rivers- the soothing sound brings automatic calmness and serenity in the heart. Only sound of forested crickets, with the light breeze blowing one’s troubles away.
Nature is able to provide a soothing and calming effect because like nature, our body is also made up of elements of fire, water, earth and wind. When we die, our body would disintegrate back to the elements. When back in nature, it is easy to blend in nature- and in the right environment, the balancing of elements internally would balance our emotions as well.
Being in the city, is of course a stark contrast. It is very easy to get sucked into the rush of the typical city’s demands and the need for things that supposedly only money is able to buy. Pushing ourselves or wanting too much, with the mind constantly distracted and not in proper rest creates a lot of tension and dis-ease in both our physical and mental health.
We need to find time to unwind, and if possible, free our minds just for temporary to go back and appreciate nature.
We may not necessary camp out in the jungle- but how often have we stop and paused to enjoy the magnificence of the sky or take a walk in the park?
Even the concrete jungle, the sky is really beautiful- on a clear sunny day, the clouds that move around sometimes form beautiful shapes. Before the sun rise or sets, the rich colours spreading and colouring the sky in various hues and tones inspire awe in our hearts. The breeze that blows on our face with the small trickle of rain can soothe that agitation and sadness that we may be feeling.
When I was young (trying to figure out stuff and things like the meaning of life), no matter how sad or alone I felt in this world- looking up at the cloudless sky filled with stars had always offered me comfort. That in this vast universe, none of us are alone.
These are destressors that no amount of technology could provide. 4 hours spent surfing on the net or watching YouTube would not bring the kind of upliftment that a 1 hour walk along the beach could do. When you are tired looking at the computer, just like I had felt last weekend, few hours spend just resting could not equal to the rejuvenation I felt from an one hour’s evening walk in the park. And when you are going back to nature, don’t bring that Smartphone or tab along. Not connected to the internet and contacts for 1 hour is not going to be the end of the world.
Sometimes when I feel stressed up, I would take a walk around the office, enjoying the beautiful colours of the setting sun and the breeze blowing on my face (not sure why, but my office compound is always very breezy). I’ve chosen to park further away from my office building so that every night (yes, I usually get to leave after the sun sets), I get to enjoy the breeze and array of pattern formations of the clouds as I walk back to my car. Even though it is only for a short time, it does help me to unwind and relaxes my mind so that not much of the work mental baggage is carried back home.
Below is a video I have taken with my phone as I witnessed the lightning and thunder that preludes a soothing rainy night (ignore the car sounds at the parking lot- you may want to mute the sound).