In this guest blog we explore how to mindfully rewild yourself in nature. Most of us have lost our connection to the natural world. We’ve become domesticated. Rewilding embraces the concept of freedom, re-connection and something that you may not quite be able to taste or touch right now, but, it’s inside you. It’s innate. We examine how to rewild yourself.
“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvellous” – Aristotle
The Meaning of Rewilding Yourself
Rewilding is used as a conservation strategy to tackle climate change & repair damaged ecosystems. It allows nature to repair and renew without the constant bombardment of cultivation. We like that concept. Why? Because as humans, we’re out of balance too. Unlike our hunter gatherer ancestors, we live in a world dominated by digital connection, stress, boundaried by the drudgery of an industrialised, man-made world. As a result, we’ve become tame, more importantly that means we’re often in nature deficit.
To restore our balance we need to stop. To reset. Rewilding yourself helps you to establish a connection with the natural world. It restores the natural cadence of life, what’s more, it reminds us of our innate indigenosity. Do you need to go off grid? No. Knowing how to rewild yourself doesn’t have to mean giving everything up. Consequently, no matter where you live, you can rewild. Here’s how to rewild yourself, step by step with science backed strategies.
How to Rewild Yourself Step by Step
Step 1: Earthing
Ground yourself. Restore your natural rhythm by going barefoot. Studies suggest that ditching your footwear may be good for your health. Emerging research suggests that direct physical contact with electrons on the surface of the Earth can have a positive effect on our health. Known as earthing, scientists have discovered that contact with the earth stabilizes our physiology at a deep level, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being. It evens changes the electrical activity in your brain. In other words, find a safe spot, kick off your stress boots and relax. More than anything else, the sensation of grass under your feet feels really, really good.
Step 2: Reconnect With Your Natural Rhythm
The part of the brain responsible for controlling your circadian rhythm is the hypothalamus. Importantly, it’s the centre for your temperature regulation, food intake, thirst, sleep and wake patterns, emotional behaviour and memory. The study of internal clocks is known as Chronobiology, what’s more, we all possess a unique rhythm. We can return our circadian rhythm to it’s equilibrium by spending time in natural daylight. Firstly, expose yourself to natural light each day. The effect of light on your circadian rhythm, sleep and mood, for instance, is well documented. Secondly, When sunlight enters your eyes, it stimulates the parts of your retina that cue your brain to produce serotonin. This is the stuff that’s linked to melatonin and crucial for a good night’s sleep. So to reconnect with your circadian rhythm be led by the elements, sun, moon and stars:
- Spend time in natural daylight
- Make like your hunter gatherer ancestors. Go to bed when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light.
- Notice the elements. Get out in nature and feel them, on your skin, in your hair and all around you.
- Limit use of digital devices before bed
- Go to sleep at the same time every day
Step 3: Ice and Easy Does It
Studies have found that time in cold water reduces cortisol, the stress hormone. Moreover, it helps to improve blood circulation. When you reduce your body temperature, your anatomy responds by sending more blood around your body. A cold dip has also been linked to lowered inflammation and a reduction in stress and anxiety. Furthermore, it also increases serotonin, your happy hormone.
Above all, cold water reminds you you’re alive. Modern living means we’re disconnected from the elements. For example, our ancestors didn’t have hot showers or central heating. Perhaps that’s why practices like the Wim Hof Method long with practices that embrace ‘cold hard nature’ are gaining traction. We can’t think of a better way to rewild yourself. Start slow. Take a cold shower for 10 seconds and build up. Feeling brave? Go for a wild swim in your nearest lake or, shoreline. However, if that sounds like too much, begin with a wild paddle and work your way up from there.