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Nature Mindfulness: The Healing Power of the Outdoors

With our busy lives, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday routines. But sometimes, all we need is a moment to pause and reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. That's where nature mindfulness comes in.

Nature mindfulness is a type of mindfulness that involves immersing yourself in the natural world and being fully present in the moment. It's about using your senses to appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature, and letting go of stress and anxiety.

The practice of nature mindfulness has many benefits for our physical, mental, and emotional health. For starters, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and boost overall mood and well-being. It's also been linked to improved memory, focus, and creativity.

So how do you practice nature mindfulness? Here are a few simple steps to get started:

Step 1: Find a Quiet Outdoor Space

The first step is to find a quiet outdoor space where you can immerse yourself in nature. It could be a local park, a nearby beach, or a quiet trail in the woods. The key is to find a spot that allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on the natural world around you.

We often drive out of the city with no destination in mind and seek out small town roads to drive along until we find a gem that invites us to focus on the now. If we are lucky we'll find a park with a trail leading to a bubbling brook, or a bridge that goes over a small creek. The nature walks are never quite complete until we find water in motion.

Edward Gardens is another one of our favourite spots in the city, especially in the spring and summer months. If you venture in far enough on a day with little to no traffic, you can hear the sound of the bubbling brooks at Wilket Creek or watch the squirrels scurrying about the trees.

Evergreen Brick Works is a haven in the concrete jungle offering a diverse array of unique animals and the opportunity to experience nature up close. When the day is right, you may spot turtles, fish, and other aquatic creatures in the ponds and streams. The peaceful and natural surroundings also offer a treat for the bird watchers who may spot hawks and herons.

Step 2: Observe Your Surroundings

Once you've found your outdoor space, take a few deep breaths and start to observe your surroundings. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? Take your time to appreciate the details of your surroundings, from the sound of the birds singing to the feeling of the sun on your skin.

Admittedly, when I am in nature, I always reach for my phone hoping to capture the beauty of it all. Now, with an effort to gain more from nature than I take of nature, I have learned to resist the urge to document first, and allow myself to fully experience it all. The pictures can wait.

Step 3: Focus on Your Breath

Next, focus on your breath and use it as an anchor to stay present in the moment. Take slow, deep breaths and notice the sensations of your breath moving in and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath.

Step 4: Engage Your Senses

Engage your senses by focusing on the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of nature around you. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, from the vibrant colors of the flowers to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves. It may take time for your mind to pause long enough to appreciate the experience but it is worthwhile.

Step 5: Embrace the Moment

Finally, embrace the moment and let go of any stress or worries. Allow yourself to fully immerse in the present moment and appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature. Let your soul, and not just your lens, capture it all.

In conclusion, nature mindfulness is a simple and powerful way to reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood and well-being, and connect with the natural world around us. Whether it's a quiet walk in the park or a weekend camping trip, take some time to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the healing power of nature.

With Kindness and you in Mind

The Wellness Studio by Cicco Aroma

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