5 Kick Butt Benefits of Connecting to Nature


Hello Gorgeous!

A blooming body of research places evidence of the psychological, physiological, and emotional benefits of immersing ourselves in our natural world.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements. – Henry David Thoreau

As someone who is close friends with depression and anxiety, (dont be jealous)I can say that there is absolutely no greater natural mood booster than hanging out in nature! For me, it looks like long walks or hikes. Sometimes I take my book outside and just allow myself to be. I also love watching my cats enjoying the sun.

I have always found this fascinating, this “I can conquer the world feeling” after a walk. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods has said that of the almost 1000 studies on this topic “point in one direction: Nature is not only nice to have, but its a have-to-have for physical and cognitive function.”

Nature in and of itself according to Positive Psychology generates a feeling of awe. When we are in awe (an emotion characterized by astonishment) we are existing in the present moment. Think back to the last time you thought WOW this is magnificent! Do you think you could be both marveled and anxious at the exact same time? No. This is also known as flow and is one of the happiest states we can ever be in. It means we are so focused on an activity that we are not thinking about the past nor stressing about the future. We are being exactly where the universe wants us to be. Here!

A research article on pnas.org, found nature to reduce rumination (the act of thinking and thinking and more thinking) which is highly linked to depression. In the same article, they share how experiencing nature also decreases the activation in the area of the brain responsible for mental illness.

Nature soothes our nervous system. The bird’s sweet songs, the ruffling of leaves, the warm sun or snow-capped mountains are all nature’s medicinal soal soothers. This has been proven by EEG tests. Our heart rate slows, our digestion functions optimally and our breathing slows down. We feel safer and it’s a break, especially for those living in cities, which is over 50% of the overall population. We all need to slow down and take a well-deserved break but those in urban areas have higher stress levels. When the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, it reduces cortisol levels that are heightened in the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn modes. In addition, our blood flow rises to the amygdala which manages our stress levels.


Nature Improves Human Relationships- When we are in a good mood we are automatically less aggressive and judgemental and more collaborative and compassionate. A positive frame of mind generates tranquility and for some even confidence. It makes me more confident for sure. Walking alongside your significant other releases endorphins that promote better sexual intimacy too. We are more apt to be vulnerable in conversation when we are walking side by side versus across from each other. This builds deeper bonds. All of these strengthen all of our relationships!

Nature Keeps us Healthy- Those who spent two hours a week in touch with mother nature (even spread out through various days) experienced a clear positive effect on their health. This study was led by Mathew White of the European Center for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter. It also lowers our blood pressure which intern improves heart disease. THIS IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR WOMEN IN THE US.

Our relationship with nature is vital. Get out there!

Look around you, be intentional about seeing your surroundings, and acknowledge tiny details. Maybe a ladybug is relaxing dog’s nose, or a ray of sun flickering on the surface of a pond? Listen attentively. Can you hear the thunder on your way down the trail? What does the shape of the cloud remind you of? Which of these flowers can you associate with playing as a kid? Last night my son and me noticed a wonderful smokey scent in the air that reminded us that we are in Autumn, our favorite season. Such a small gift from mother nature, yet it put a smile on both of our faces.

Here’s to making it a point to become one with nature way more often!

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photo by:Brigitte Tohn

Hello My Passionate Friend,

What is it about bad boys that has us circling back like excited bees to a colorful birthday cake? No matter how many spectacular flame-outs we go through, most of us willingly put our hand right back on the flame. If this sounds familiar, you may be wondering: is it possible to be attracted to someone who is initially not my type?

We attract what we need to heal

There’s a deep, unconscious reason that makes it hard to break the cycle of attracting unavailable men. Whether it’s karma or energy, we’re drawn to heal our childhood wounds. And this is great but what’s not so great is how we go about it. A common way we do this is by subconsciously choosing the one partner that will shine a spotlight on our insecurities and fears. Yep. We choose an avatar for the parent that couldn’t see how smashingly magnificent we were. Basically, in a room of fifty-thousand men, we will choose THE ONE with a particular kind of torture in store. Consciously we might think we’re drawn to the heady confidence, or shared interests, and that is part of it. But what is primarily behind the wheel is our desire to feel loved by a parent that did not have the tools to do so.

“Our conscious self is drawn to the positive qualities we yearn for, but our unconscious draws us to the qualities which remind us of how we were wounded the most.” ~ Psychotherapist Ken Page, L.C.S.W.

These love patterns can be relearned. We don’t have to sacrifice knee-wobbling passion either.

Bust out of that groove

Potential partners ebb through our lives and fall on what I call a level on the Captivation Rainbow.

Here’s how it works:

❤️ Level Red: The bad boys that leave us light-headed and speechless. We need no convincing of captivation for these men. They’re the ones that leave us eating pints of ice-cream in our P.J’s, but that sizzling passion is too irresistible to give up.

💙 Level Blue: The guys that completely turn us off leaving us COLD. Choosing them would make our parents nod with approval but we’d be pacing back and forth questioning our choice to forget chemistry and settle for a bitter taste in our mouths. We never want to do this. A compulsion to flee is never a good sign.

💛 Level Yellow: The progressive lovers. These are the men we weren’t sure about but gave them the benefit of three dates. The yellows will have a very fulfilled life, a healthy financial situation and will enjoy being the leaders- or the supporters if you prefer to lead with masculine energy. How nice would it be to stop doing everything for everyone?! It’s true, we tend to not have much of a reaction when we first meet them. BUT.. if there’s even a glimmer of attraction, fanning it into passion is a very real possibility.

Date outside your type

A balanced love story comes from the center and that’s true of this rainbow, too. When you date guys in the yellow zone of your captivation rainbow, expect a few things to change:

👉🏻 You’ll feel less inhibited and bring more of your true self forward.

👉🏻 You’ll feel more comfortable and secure

👉🏻 You’ll have more selection of partners to choose from.

Studies done at Harvard proved, we’ll even have healthier aging when our relationships are joyful. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/ove…. Heck yes!

Physical attraction is changeable

You’ve probably seen people like Chandler and Monica from Friends who grew their friendship into a steamy romance. What started as platonic grew into a massive sexual attraction as they discovered more about each other.

All you really need is a mere spark of possibility and at least some physical attraction. Then watch. The more you get to know a guy from the WARM zone, the more he’ll give you fuzzy brain syndrome.

Love after first sight promises to be the most reliable and longest lasting. When we do the inner work of nourishing ourselves first, we are more attuned to what will actually make us happy. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/3-relationship-hacks-for-real-love-right-now/This is different from what we THINK will make us happy. Our picker is waaaaay more intelligent. Remember, we are not buying the house. There’s no sense in getting caught up with the plumbing. We are a guest enjoying its welcoming energy and colorful pillows. New experiences can be a lot more fun than you think!

Steer away from the two extremes and look to the stable center. He may initially look like Mr. Not Your Type, but that’s a good thing.

After chasing the ones that leave you with a vacant stare, you may want a coach-slash-wing-woman to lean on as you make profound shifts. I’m here for you and would love to hear your story.

Here’s to troubles melting like yellow lemon drops,


Irene is the creator of the Happiness Within Reach program which coaches single, freedom loving women on the foundational skills of building a meaningful relationship with themselves so they can attain the love they dream of. She is an ICF, ACC Certified Personal Development coach who holds two certifications from the University of Pennsylvania on Positive Psychology and is trained in the Gottman Method for Couples Therapy. Irene is an advisor to the Keeepr app as well as a dating coach to the Three Day Rule Matchmaking Company. She is also an Amazon best-selling co-author of the book How To Be Crazy Amazing During Difficult Times and has been interviewed on podcasts such as Chat With Leadersand Beyond Barriers. Her mission is to remind women of their indisputable worthiness and capability of creating the extraordinary soul on fire life that is their birthright. Let’s connect on Instagram