Mindfulness in NatureMay 16, 2023
Nature has a way of calming and grounding us. When we spend time in nature, we can relax and de-stress, improve our mood, and boost our creativity. Listed below are a few of the many benefits of connecting with nature:
- Reduced stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help to reduce stress and anxiety. A study by the University of Essex found that people who spent just 20 minutes walking in a natural environment had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, than those who walked in an urban environment.
- Improved mood. Nature can also improve our mood. A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that people who spent time in nature had higher levels of positive emotions and lower levels of negative emotions than those who did not spend time in nature.
- Boosted creativity. Nature can also boost our creativity. A study by the University of Illinois found that people who spent time in nature were more creative than those who did not spend time in nature.
- Improved physical health. Nature can also improve our physical health. A study by the University of Exeter found that people who lived in areas with more green space had lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and stroke.
- Increased mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Spending time in nature can help us to be more mindful. When we are in nature, we are often forced to slow down and focus on our surroundings. This can help us to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and to connect with our inner selves.
Check out these five tips for being mindful in nature:
- Find a quiet place in nature where you can sit or lie down comfortably.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
- Notice the sounds around you. What do you hear?
- Notice the smells around you. What do you smell?
- Notice the sensations of your body. How does your body feel?
Be present in the moment and enjoy the experience of being in nature. There's no right or wrong way to do this short practice so no judgment, just practice. I have to point out that above all please be aware of your surroundings and mindful of your safety.
Some additional Benefits of practicing mindfulness in nature pulled from a few studies:
- Reduced pain. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help to reduce pain. A study by the University of Michigan found that people who spent time in nature had lower levels of pain than those who did not spend time in nature.
- Improved sleep. Nature can also improve sleep. A study by the University of British Columbia found that people who spent time in nature slept better than those who did not spend time in nature.
- An immunity boost. Nature can also boost immunity. A study by the University of Arizona found that people who spent time in nature had stronger immune systems than those who did not spend time in nature.
- Possible Increased lifespan. Studies have shown that people who spend time in nature live longer than those who do not spend time in nature.
If you are looking for a way to reduce stress, improve your mood, connect with your inner self, and improve your overall well-being, I encourage you to try practicing mindfulness in nature. It is a simple and effective way to improve your health and well-being. and as always we're here to help you be just a little more mindful each day.
Some Additional Research
- Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature. Trends in cognitive sciences, 12(12), 449–455.
- Pretty, J., Peacock, J., Sellens, M., & Griffin, M. (2005). Green exercise: Benefits of green space to mental and physical health. Public Health, 119(1), 199–205.
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