Nature gives us a pleasant feeling of well-being. It makes us feel free. Apart from devastating environmental catastrophes, even when it is unleashed, or perhaps even more so, something moves us inside that is irresistible.
The vision of a rough sea, the storms, sailing aimlessly on a sailboat, letting the rain soak us, beating the biggest wave with the surfboard, getting lost in a forest, breathing at the top of our lungs in the middle of a meadow , on the shore of the beach, wrapped in a breeze that gives us wings …
These situations, and countless others like them, often convey an indescribable feeling of freedom or, at least, a liberating feeling, which helps us to cope with the day-to-day routine and does not invite us to daydream. Why does Nature give us a feeling of freedom?
Situations, experiences, scenarios that enliven us, as different as they are similar, because despite their great differences they have Nature, in contact with her as a common denominator. Our mind, every inch of skin asks us for more when we live experiences that make us connect with Nature, as simple as unforgettable. They leave an indelible mark and feed us with the gasoline we need to stay alive inside and believe that a better future is possible.
We want to drink the air in great sips when we breathe on the top of a mountain, we are delighted by the clouds that parade before us with their capricious forms. And, of course, we love to contemplate the stars lying in the middle of nowhere if we are camping wild or, why not, closing our eyes and dreaming that we are there.
The landscapes are enveloping, and nature's sounds have a lot to do with it, which subjugate us in an ineffable way. Listening to the murmurs that are heard in any forest transports us in a magical way. It is not necessary to be in the middle of the African savannah or go deep into the Amazon to feel that wonderful connection. A green brushstroke is enough to wake her up.
But why does Nature make us feel free? What is that golden thread that unites us to it, that makes us feel part of a whole? On the one hand, there are the symbols, those cultural meanings that are part of different societies or human groups or, if they have a universal character, that we share as socialized beings throughout the history of humanity.
It is the reason why we contaminate the wild life to the domesticated one. Those horses that gallop free in natural settings, those nude beaches in wild settings, that flock of birds that soar through the sky, those overflowing landscapes of virgin Nature on which human beings have not yet put their boots.
And, by extension, those bare feet that walk on the fine sand of the beach against the necktie that oppresses physically and mentally in an urban environment, as opposed to baggy clothing, to complete nudity. A liberation of body and soul, stripped of that, while we bathe in a pool of water splashed by immeasurable waterfalls.
Logically, is an idealized Nature, a symbol actually. Not everything is as beautiful as we paint it in our mind, far from it, but the feeling of freedom is undoubted, a truth with capital letters. Incontestable and powerful, regardless of the social construction that we have made manufacturing symbols that also have a lot of truth.
At a much deeper level, and in many cases as the ultimate reason for that socialization and attribution of meanings that began with the first human groups, are the circumstances that have marked the course of evolution. Circumstances marked by a scene full of Nature such as environment in which the human being has been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years.
A frame in which he has been moving, descending from the trees and walking upright. Perhaps that is why walking among the green encourages creativity and makes us feel freer. Neurology has discovered that when we walk, the frontal lobe, the part of the brain that maintains control of our emotions, is released.
Thanks to the automation of the walking process and the absence of demands in a natural environment, which does not demand our attention urgently, we free the brain, which begins to feel liberated. In this sense, inspiration catches us walking or relaxed before working, contrary to what is usually stated … In fact, when Nature enters the scene, ideas flow more easily, we can disconnect and we feel liberated.
It is also liberating that magical sensation of submerging in the waters, either entering the sea or any other natural enclave, and even artificial. To the previous reasoning is added the contact with the liquid element, a kind of return to the mother's womb in a strict and figurative sense, in the same way that it happens with Nature in general. Inside the water, the origin of life, relaxation is greater, accentuating more, if possible, the feeling of freedom that the natural environment transmits to us.
Idyllic Nature is that place that our brain identifies as its home, our ideal habitat, for which it has really been designed. Given the rhythm imposed by the city, the hyperactivity that the urban lifestyle entails, contact with Nature is the best balm, that necessary medicine that our body seeks. There is the city, the cloud of smog, its hyperactivity, its asphalt madness, and leaving it behind is a great relief. An absolute liberation to feel that we are part of a whole.
That ancestral genetic code that Nature claims, that anatomy of ours that continues to embrace the environment and detests frenetic modern life, asks us for very different stimuli than those that our determination to live quickly can provide. Like a message in a bottle thrown into a sea that holds the secrets of the night of time, it asks us for help. The question that remains in the air is: How to protect ourselves from ourselves?
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