9 Ways to Find Serenity in Nature

Spring Time On the River

When you look at the above photo, don’t you immediately feel calmer? I do. Nature is one of the best ways to bring joy, peace, and happiness into our lives – and it’s absolutely free! 

You probably already know this. However, even though most of us realize that enjoying the outdoors is a quick remedy to feeling less stressed, we often get caught up in our busy lives and take nature for granted.

I’m certainly guilty of that. As a freelance writer constantly meeting deadlines, I’m often indoors pounding on computer keys. As I’m writing this blog, I can look out my window and see the bright morning sun, the hibiscus blooming, and hear the birds singing. Nature is calling my name, but I’ll be in my office all morning. Even if you’re not a writer like me, most people spend way too much time in front of lap tops, televisions, iPads, and iPhones, cooped up indoors even when the weather is gorgeous outside.

So let’s change that. Even if it means getting up an hour earlier to take a quick walk before work,  packing a lunch to eat outside at a nearby park, or dining al fresco.

Think of how nature makes you feel and you’ll be inspired to get out more. Something as simple as walking in a forest or meadow can be magical and awe-inspiring. Can’t you just feel the negativity draining out of you just thinking about it?

Every chance we get, my husband and I go to the beach where our sailboat is docked. The minute I see the ocean, I literally feel the tension and stress melt away. Sailing is the ultimate way to leave our troubles on shore. Hiking in the nearby spectacular Santa Rosa Mountains in the desert where I live inspires peace and tranquility. I can even find refuge and comfort in my own back yard, simply looking at the nearby mountains, admiring my flowers and herbs, and listening to our water fountain.

Springtime is the perfect time to embrace nature with the emergence of tulips and bright green leaves and blossoms sprouting on trees. The warm sunshine not only provides us with essential Vitamin D but also instantly brightens our mood. Perhaps you have a favorite hiking, biking, picnic spot, or getaway on your balcony or yard that immediately boosts your spirit.

Science backs up the fact that nature offers us inner peace and joy. Studies show that even a limited dose of nature like a short walk or simply looking outside through a window is good for us. Nature can improve our mental state, lower blood pressure, reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone), and increase our energy. The great outdoors can even provide a surge of creative energy. That’s why you’ll often see people in scenic spots with their easels. Others are inspired to write poetry.

So, just in case you aren’t already inspired to run out there and enjoy nature, here are a few ideas to get you outdoors:

  • Fly a kite.
  • Stargaze and watch the heavens light up.
  • Spread a blanket over the grass and take normal activities such as reading, doing homework with the kids, or simply discussing the events of the day outdoors.
  • Plant a small vegetable garden.
  • Build or buy a birdfeeder and watch the birds frolic.
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market.
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset.
  • Go camping.
  • Grab your grandkids and a butterfly net, ball, or gardening shovel and head outdoors and imitate the way kids carefully examine a bug, smell a flower, or inspect a rock.

Keep in mind that the best way to reap the ultimate reward from being in nature is doing so in a mindful way. That means putting away your iPhone while you’re outside and focusing on the beauty of nature.

Me – I’m going to take my own advice and eat lunch on my patio. And this afternoon, if my heads starts to spin after hours on the computer, I’m going to take a quick walk, aware that the best ways to come up with brilliant ideas and be more creative is to take a break with nature.

How will you incorporate more nature into your life?


Julie A. Gorges is the author of two young adult novels, Just Call Me Goody Two Shoes and Time to Cast Away and co-author of Residential Steel Design and Construction published by McGraw Hill. In addition, hundreds of her articles and short stories have been published in national and regional magazines, and she received three journalism awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association while working as a newspaper reporter. Julie currently lives in southern California with her husband, Scott, and has two grown children and three grandchildren.

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5 Responses

  1. Linda Biggs says:

    How will I incorporate nature into my life? Well, Julie a lot depends on the UK weather. Today its beautifully sunny as I set here at my work desk writing this while on a break, but tomorrow could be pouring with rain. I’m inclined to make the most of a fine day though and love to walk, be near water, be thankful that I still have reasonable hearing and vision to be able to see colours and hear birds.

    Sitting on my patio is something I treasure. It’s a little sun-trap in the afternoon and there’s nothing nicer than drifting off into a nap while the birds are twittering in the distance, or a nearby bee is humming in the lavender.

    Spring is well underway here, and the summer holds a lot of promise of warm evenings spent with friends and family over a bottle of wine.

    This is where I feel blessed for having my home, my lovely family and good friends. Oh, and the ability to write 🙂


    • juliegorges says:

      You can tell you’re a writer, Linda. I could close my eyes and envision myself sitting on your sunny little patio with the sounds of nature keeping me company on a sleepy afternoon. Makes me want to take a nap right now!

  2. Tamara says:

    Hear, hear! I heartily agree! I so appreciate the way nature feeds our hunger for peace, serenity, and tranquility. Life has a way of throwing us headlong into a whirlpool, but nature allows us to float calmly by it all. Thank you, Julie, for reminding us all that we already possess such a valuable resource for happiness!

  1. July 30, 2015

    […] stroll in Central Park or any nearby hiking area will help.  As I wrote previously in my blog, Finding Serenity in Nature, studies show that even a limited dose of nature like a short walk or even looking outside through […]

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