Everyone loves to feel good, right?
But very often the ways of seeking pleasure & daily relief have nasty side effects that just aren’t conducive to long term mental & physical health.
Nature on the other hand, has many qualities that will naturally enable you to experience an all-natural high that can really knock your socks off (in a good way).
And without suffering the negative symptoms & side effects of ingesting chemicals that result in addiction & neurotransmitter imbalances.
So today I’d like to share 15 ways that nature will not only get you high on the pleasure & joy of life, but also help to reinforce balance & harmony in your life.
This is not a guide for escaping your problems. In fact, you’ll probably find connecting with nature improves your ability to solve problems with greater ease & joy.
So next time you need a good boost, rather than reaching for the pills, why not try nature?
Here are 15 ways nature gets you high…
#1 – Nature Evokes States of Awe & Beauty
Wow! Woa! That’s so amazing!
Nature is filled with beauty that can captivate the heart & soul of anyone who enters with openness.
People who spend lots of time sitting quietly in nature gradually expand their ability to see beauty shining through all things.
I’ve observed many people drop into profound states of calm & wonder even on their first nature experience.
The natural world stimulates a deeper part of the mind during moments like staring up at the canopy and hearing soft sounds of birds singing in the distance.
Even better, this sense of awe & reverence seems to get stronger each time you reinforce the experience.
Every moment you fully appreciate the vibrant color of a flower, or the distant singing of a bird, makes you more likely to appreciate beauty again in the future.
Eventually you’ll learn to see tremendous beauty in the ants crawling along the ground, the clouds moving through the sky, the wind blowing in the trees.
This has profound ramifications for mental & physical health, and your state of consciousness.
#2 – Nature Invigorates Your Physical Body
On a practical level, being out in nature gets you using your body in new ways.
Many people are simply not active enough for their bodies to produce the right collection of hormones & neurotransmitters to clear out stress.
Sunshine brings vitamin D & even a simple hike can release endorphins & provide you with increased oxygen that brings a palpable high.
This all has the effect of both stimulating & energizing your nervous system, while smoothing it out and activating the relaxation response.
#3 – Heighten & Enhance The Senses
Lose your mind and come to your senses!
If you’ve ever read descriptions shared by people accounting their high moments, you’ll notice there’s almost always a deep sensory component.
Things seem sharper, brighter, slowed down or more vivid.
And these changes in perception open your mind to realize there’s more to life. There’s more than just the mundane daily struggle that shows up on the surface.
Using your senses intentionally in nature will bring on many of these same changes in perception that expand your worldview.
Nature is a sensory experience. Birds are meant to be listened to. Flowers are meant to be seen & smelled.
So the more you exercise your sensory awareness, the more you’ll get from each moment!
#4 – Shifting Your Consciousness
Nature is a great way to shift consciousness.
You’ll discover that immersing yourself in nature quite literally changes how you see yourself, others & the universe.
It starts as a soft quieting of the mind, that gradually gives way to a deeper silence & appreciation for the vast enormity of our surroundings.
Being in the presence of wildness helps us become less focused on our individual self, and more attuned with universal awareness.
This letting go of the ego provides a loosening grip on any perceived problems that might be holding you down, and helps you experience a sense of freedom without attachment.
The deeper you go, the more you can experience the pure love & joy of being alive without the feeling that it stems from anything in the physical world.
It’s inside you because you are part of nature too.
#5 – Losing Track of Time
The sense of time is one of the biggest traps that often keeps people locked in painful experiences year after year.
For many, their emotional pain comes from memories kept alive by thinking about them, or anticipation of problems in the future, or intense desires that create a feeling of lack in your life experience.
But when you lose track of time, all these problems disappear and you allow yourself to feel completely in the moment. It’s a very liberating experience of relaxed openness.
It doesn’t mean you completely forget about your problems & life goals, but you’re now able to see them without the emotional charge that fogs your mind.
It’s in these moments you might notice flashes of insight where you suddenly see your life differently, bringing a sense of relief, happiness, and unconditional love for yourself & others.
#6 – Emotional Openness
Are you closed or open to emotional freedom?
One of the big reasons why most people don’t get high off life is because their emotional state is closed off from letting go and finding peace.
Many of the shifts in consciousness that happen during immersion in nature have the result of making you less attached to personal experience.
The sense of being “right” or “justified” about feelings of anger, fear, frustration, desire, even superiority over friends & family gives way to a deeper sense of simple ease with our true selves.
It’s possible in these moments of letting go to experience profound forgiveness and healing from emotions that you’ve been holding onto.
This emotional release can be a profound high indeed.
#7 – Spiritual Experiences
Seeking the spiritual in nature…
It’s relatively common for people surrounded by nature to have spiritual experiences.
It starts as something quite subtle. The mind becomes quieter. You find yourself letting go of emotional tension & stress.
Then as your emotions start to soar into happiness, love & joy, the world around you begins to look much more alive.
Literally the way you see things will start to change.
Some people experience this as a living presence, or the universal consciousness of life.
For others it might feel like the boundaries between you and the surrounding landscape are dissolving into a sense of deep peace & belonging.
This can sometimes be achieved through a period of intense immersion over a few days. Or you can cultivate it as a more permanent state of being through daily routines like having a sit spot.
#8 – Introspection & Reflection
What are your dreams?
What’s holding you back?
What are you learning at this time in your life?
Many people avoid self reflection because it brings up pain.
This shows up as emotional pain, psychological pain, and even physical pain. This is also why many people stay stuck for so long getting the same life results over and over again.
If you ever find yourself stuck in an area of life, the first thing you need to do is shift your consciousness into a space of greater openness, peace & self-ease, such as the high that comes from immersing yourself in nature.
From here you’ll find it becomes possible look carefully at the less comfortable parts of life, but without the same pain & emotional charge that blocks new ideas.
Instead you can allow your mind to harmonize and experience new perspectives that bring increased freedom.
You’ll find it easier to acknowledge your truth. Old memories from childhood will come back to inspire you. You’ll begin to find acceptance about your human frailties, learn the lessons & move on.
#9 – Energize Your Creative Juices
Let’s get creative!
Many great scientists, inventors, philosophers and leaders have found their deepest moments of insight and realization happen when they’re outside, immersed in the natural environment.
This is no coincidence when you consider all the consciousness-expanding reasons we’ve talked about so far.
Many artists depend on drugs to maintain the high states that inspire their work.
But this has major long term consequences that cut their careers short too soon and sometimes precipitate mental health problems.
Nature is a very effective way to accomplish the same inspiration of creative juices without the negative side-effects.
Ways #10 – 15
We’ll cover the last 5 ways nature gets you high in a bit less detail because they’re really more like sub-categories of the things already mentioned.
#10 Happiness & Euphoria – With all these shifts in mind & body, it’s quite common to experience moments of peaking happiness & euphoria. You might find moments where a smile gets plastered on your face and you just can’t stop (not that you’d want to).
#11 – Relieving Stress – It’s well known that being in nature relieves stress. Both because your body is surrounded by clean air & an increased parasympathetic response, and also because you mind is literally functioning at a higher level. For people whose daily experience is centered around the experience of chronic stress, even a brief moment of stress free experience can feel amazing. Many people have gone years without taking a real break.
#12 – Relief From Pain – Pain typically starts in the physical body. But the experience of pain is actually regulated by the mind. It’s well known that when you flood your body with good feelings & endorphins, your pain thresholds will increase.
#13 – Improved Sleep & Restfulness – A big part of maintaining a natural high throughout life is getting good sleep. Sleep is one of the most important indicators of long term physical & mental health. Immersing yourself in nature will help to clear out stress hormones that reduce sleep quality, while activating parasympathetic systems that repair and prepare your body for success & happiness.
#14 – Increased Energy – Many people reach for that next cup of coffee in the afternoon when their energy levels take a dip. Did you know that taking even a short lunch break walk in the park can help with that? And less coffee means your body has more time to rest and repair.
#15 – Exhilarating Moments – In addition to the calming & releasing effects of nature, there are also exhilarating effects. Having close encounters with wild animals activates your nervous system in a balanced way. If you’ve never been within touching distance of a truly wild animal, you might find it truly thrilling! I shared some great tips in my guide to stalking animals.