A Little Happier: When People Give No Solace, We Can Turn to Nature.

There are times, for all of us, when there’s no consolation from other people or from society. We feel misunderstood, or so swamped by anxiety or anger or sorrow that it’s hard to be around other people, or we’re isolated and lonely. Or maybe we’re so upset, angry, and anxious when we listen to the news, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.

But when we can’t take comfort in other people, we can often turn to nature. The beauty of nature, its impersonal rhythms, its splendid indifference to our personal concerns, are a comfort.

I don’t think it’s selfish to seek refuge in nature. When we restore our spirits, then we’re better able to think about other people with compassion and seek to address the problems of the world.

I’m not much of a music enthusiast, but one of my favorite songs is Nina Simone’s song “Feeling Good.” Here’s a few verses…

Birds flying high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, yeah
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me,
And I’m feeling good…

You can listen to the entire song here.

I love the music, and I love the words.

Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel…

When people give us no solace, we can turn to nature.




Like what you see? Explore more about this topic.

Subscribe to Gretchen’s newsletter.

Every Friday, Gretchen Rubin shares 5 things that are making her happier, asks readers and listeners questions, and includes exclusive updates and behind-the-scenes material.