05-01-2017The Well

Spring is here so let's get outside! Time spent in nature reduces stress, improves our health and fosters our spirits. When we take the time to sit in nature, we connect with a high power-our God!

People do not spend time alone, on purpose, any longer. Perhaps we never did, because we’re social animals by nature, meant to be in community. And yet, as nearly every religious tradition knows and teaches, there is much to be gained from intentional solitude, with no other agenda than to spend time alone with God and oneself, searching with heart for both. Type A personalities often feel that spending twenty-four hours alone doing “nothing” is a waste of time, but if we think about it, we are really wasting time with God.  If Christ went off by himself to pray.

Besides the Spiritual aspect of sitting alone and praying or meditating within nature, there is the physical aspect as well. When we connect with nature, our breathing changes, we shed stress, we feel more focused. It helps us be more physically active, but it also does something to our bodies at the cellular level. Being in nature has been shown to help with depression, lower blood pressure and regulate cortisol, a stress hormone that affects our blood sugar levels, immune system, and blood flow.

So, take some time, especially as the weather continues to warm up, to take a walk through one of our many natural settings, to sit with nature and contemplate how God is working or not working in your life. Be kind to yourself!

  • “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.
  • Breathing in, I see myself as a flower. Breathing out, I feel flesh. Breathing in, I see myself as a mountain.
  • Breathing out, I feel solid. Breathing in, I see myself as still water. Breathing out, I reflect on things as they are.
  • Breathing in, I see myself as space. Breathing out, I feel free.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk

If you have any questions or concerns about your family's health or any topic, feel free to contact Kathy Ford RN/Parish Nurse and Coordinator of Pastoral Care at 630-922-0081 ex.28 or pastoralcare@hscc.us.