We all know that the connection to nature is beneficial.
Health from nature is an old wisdom, that nature has everything we need to stay healthy.
There has been numerous research showing that being in nature can sooth us, that it is beneficial for kids to be raised with pets, that even as adults, being around animals can help us to avoid burn outs and other stress related dysfunctions
feel relaxed in our holidays when we can spend as much time as possible in
nature, for example sitting at the beach and listening to the sound of the ocean
That is also one of the big benefits of our horse assisted trainings - the fact that we get people out of the office and back to nature for the day really helps with the learning and effects of the coaching.
As a species, we have advanced tremendously in just a few generations – we can now grow human hearts in a glass and transplant these into a living body.
We can communicate across oceans with each other, just with the help of a little electrical device.
We fly into space and have started looking for new planets to live on.
We are connected to each other on this planet like never before!
And yet, we have started to completely disconnect from ourselves, from our own body and soul.
It has become difficult for us to be alone with our thoughts and to truly connect on a personal level - even the short time in an elevator, in the tram, at the traffic light.
Have a look around next time you are in the train - how many people are just looking at their phones instead of out of the window?
We hardly notice what or who is around us anymore.
We live in busy cities, disconnected from nature, and fight diseases that didn't even exist, or at least not to this extent, 100 years ago: So much diabetes, obesity, heart attacks, burn outs, you name it. Cancer is increasing rapidly - sure, you could say that all these were maybe not detected previously and that is why they are now on the rise. Or that the ageing generations are causing an increase in the statistics. But our lifestyles, and our disconnectedness to our own nature, certainly add to the risk factors.
We hardly know how to listen to our own intuitions and instincts anymore, which have in the past been fundamental to keeping us alive and healthy.
How did our species survive thousands of years without taking a panadol for each headache, without disinfecting every single wound, or let alone give birth to each and every human being without the use of drugs?
Don't get me wrong, I feel truly blessed to be living in times where we have access to amazing medical knowledge and treatment in most parts of the world.
The forearm which I recently fractured into several pieces would have grown back horribly if I wouldn't have been able to get surgery done.
And just the thought of having been left alone to deal with this problem and rely on "health from nature" gives me shudders.
I remember lying on the bed just before receiving the anaesthetic for the surgery, I was in tears and at the same time soooo grateful that I had the possibility to be in safe hands of amazing doctors and a first class medical facility.
But we need to draw a line between what will heal on its own, and when do we really need medication and treatment?
And I have the feeling, that often times it is just convenience that lets us resort to medicine. The headache would not kill us, but it is inconvenient to take a rest and to suffer through it, when a simple pill can let us get back to what we were doing within minutes.
Maybe it would however be better to think about what caused the headache, and how we can avoid it in future?
And maybe, if we were to pay attention to the signals of our body, and get to know our body better, we can act before it even becomes a headache?
Usually, our bodies start giving us much lighter signals first. For example, I get a headache when I don't drink enough. I now make sure that I carry a refillable water bottle wherever I go, and drink plenty of water when I am feeling thirsty, or even before that feeling of thirstiness arises.
And this is just one little example - our bodies are constantly giving us the signals we need to stay healthy, we just need to pay attention and listen!
Because horses are the same - they give us small signals in the beginning - a flickering of an ear, a movement in our direction.
If we ignore the small signals, they make them stronger.
Now it's flattening the ears back onto their head and maybe clenching their teeth if they want to be left alone.
Often at this stage a sane human would retreat.
However, what we see many times in the equestrian sports world is humans who haven't got time to listen to and respect the horses feelings and demands. They are in a rush to get their "work done".
Every single time you watch an accident happening in the horse world and a rider getting injured, there were warnings and signals given beforehand, but they were ignored. No horse attacks or gets scared out of the blue.
If a rider would just learn to read the small signals and pay attention to them, we would see much less accidents in the horse world, just the same as in real life.
But again, our busy lifestyles often impede us from spending the necessary time and attention on the small things, which would avoid us a lot of troubles and suffering later on.
So what is health from nature?
Often, it is much simpler than we think. Being present in the moment, listening to our emotions, being courageous to act accordingly (for example, if we feel stressed, to have the strength to say no and take a quick break, or to ask for assistance) and to do things that are good for us and that bring us joy - all these small things have a tremendous effect on our overall health.
And taking breaks in nature.
Even if you live in a busy city, nature is there.
A park around the corner, a bird in the tree, the wind on your face - start noticing these small things again.
It will make you feel much better.
After all, we all just want to feel connected.