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Greening Your Life: Holistic Benefits of Nature 

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is just around the corner. If you live a bit further south, maybe you’re already seeing some hints. Perhaps a few green leaves or buds are starting to emerge already. Whenever Spring starts to show herself, there is a refreshing calm that comes with that greening, which is one of the many holistic benefits of nature.

The human eye evolved to see multiple shades of green. That color falls right in the center of our visual spectrum so it requires less effort. When we see greenery or find ourselves in greenspace, there is a healing and revitalizing effect. The greening of Spring and the green of nature moves us with effortless calm.  

If we can find ways to lean into this, we can benefit from all that nature and Earth have to offer year-round. In the green of Spring, we are reminded that we too are resilient, even after the harsh cold of winter the buds and leaves return. As we see the bulbs crack through the frozen soil, we recall that we too can do hard things, even when it seems all may be lost.  

When we stand in a grove of trees, in a neighborhood park, a greenhouse, botanical garden, community garden, or just sit a while, admiring and caring for a small houseplant, we are reminded of how we are a part of nature and Earth. Our place on this planet is vibrant and growing, even when the rebirth that Spring brings feels so far away.  

So, make a little time today, or this week, to connect with the greening around you. If the weather is right for it, start planting some seeds, literally; if it’s too cold still, plant them figuratively—make a plan to start a small garden indoors or out, just a few herbs in the windowsill can be a balm throughout the year. Plant seeds in your community to care for Earth together, connect with friends to go on a nature walk, enroll in the FFCH Relationship Wellbeing course to explore many more “holistic benefits of Nature.” 

Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart, do it with joy, do it with wonder. Let that time in nature, building a relationship with Earth and others, blossom within you. Even 5 mindful minutes reconnecting with the green of Earth can turn your day around, connect you deeply to the rhythms of our planet, and remind you that you are a part of it all, loved, held, and connected, even in the hardest moments.

Sarah D. Norton, PhD is the Convener for Education and Depth Psychology at the Foundation for Family and Community Healing.