“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.”

~ Anne Frank

I remember a time when I was feeling especially discouraged. Since I live near the mountains, I stopped at home, picked up my journal and then took a long drive up the canyon. I parked the car and sauntered along a trail for a while. When I came to a clearing I laid down on the soft ground and searched for shapes and images in the clouds. I remember relaxing into the soft, green grass beneath me as I felt the sun warming my face. I listened to the water, the birds and the insects. I delighted in the movements of a squirrel running up a nearby tree.

After my leisurely nature meditation, I continued my walk until I came to a park with picnic benches. I sat at the table and wrote in my journal for about an hour. My thoughts flowed freely. I felt grounded and relaxed. I was able to sort out my jumbled thoughts and make some decisions of action steps I could take that would make a difference in my current circumstances. I felt peaceful and grateful on my drive back home.

There have been times when I have taken the opportunity to enjoy a private picnic beside a lake or a waterfall. Other times when my day was jam packed but I desperately needed some grounding, I have driven to a nearby river trail, parked the car, and just sat there for a few minutes listening to the river. Watching the water and listening to the gurgling sound of it rushing by was extremely calming.

Consider how you might gain the peace that nature offers. Late at night you may want to take a walk around the block and stare up at the stars while you spend some time thinking about how many blessings you have.

If you live near the ocean, sit on the beach and let the constant waves sooth your troubled soul.

If you can make time to take a long walk, it will serve you to pause long enough to contemplate if there’s anything weighing you down. Focus on what your thoughts are about this particular thing or situation. Are you worried about things beyond your control? Are there any action steps you could take that might make a difference?

Give yourself the space and time to be alone with your thoughts. Spending time in nature can be very therapeutic and bring much needed peace.