8 ways to practise mindfulness in nature

4th November 2018

Have you been feeling unfocused recently or are you experiencing a great deal of stress in your daily life? If so, you may have temporarily lost a state of mindfulness that is able to provide a sense of peace and relaxation. Let us look at eight effective methods to return to this natural balance and to become one with the world around you.

1. Going Green

Green spaces such as natural parks and wellness retreats have been shown to decrease levels of anxiety while simultaneously provide us with a sense of wellbeing. This should not come as a great surprise, as it is impossible to deny the strong connections between mankind and nature.

2. Take a (Longer) Walk on the Wild Side

Those who spend a great deal of time away from urban environments (such as participants in the 30 Days Wild programme offered in 2016 by The Wildlife Trusts) are much more likely to experience greater levels of happiness and overall health.

3. Stepping Back to See the Bigger Picture

Achieving mindfulness and rejuvenation can also be experienced by developing a deeper awareness of the world around us. As the book Mindfulness & the Natural World observes, we are also more likely to embrace an appreciation for natural beauty and to become more sensitive to our own environments. These traits are often lost due to the hustle and bustle of our urban settings.

4. Meditation

We do not necessarily have to step outside in order to encounter mindfulness and personal peace. Meditation is an excellent habit that can be practised nearly anywhere. If you find that there are too many distractions, it could be a good idea to search for wellness retreats that specialise in personalised meditation courses.

5. Putting the Past and Future Aside

Even seemingly common activities such as taking a walk in nature can help us separate from our day-to-day concerns and to instead turn our focus inward (read more here). We should always keep in mind that a state of mindfulness is partially defined by not being subject to outside distractions.

6. Living in the Moment

This principle has been espoused in the amazing book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Mr. Tolle stresses that a good deal of our negative feelings is a result of equally negative projections (5). When we can begin to turn our focus towards the present moment alone, we are able to reach a state of-of tranquillity that is similar to sensations experienced by monks and similar religious practitioners.

7. Focusing on a Single Action

This theory has been espoused by practitioners of the martial arts for centuries. However, you do not have to possess a black belt in order to feel its results. Simply focusing on a single action such as jogging, painting or even breathing can enable you to return to your “core” self and to begin to feel a sense of singularity that only mindfulness can provide.

8. Wellness Retreats

Finally, it could be wise to consider a wellness retreat. These seminars enable you to fully embrace the concepts of balance and self-perception. Whether referring to yoga, physical activities or spa sessions, the power that these excursions offer cannot be denied.

These are eight ways to return to a state of mindfulness and to better appreciate your relationship with the world. If you have been feeling lost or otherwise “foggy”, the path to self-awareness is always closer than you think.

Sources:

1. http://www.scottishpolicynow.co.uk/article/can-green-space-beat-anxiety-in-urban-scotland
2. https://www.derby.ac.uk/science/research/centres-groups/psychological/groups/nature-connectedness/
3. https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=_Lo4DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA89&dq=mindfulness+and+nature&ots=5nI3vSMjk7&sig=JQ-eul-W-se3Q8Woz2E3DW_Iksk#v=onepage&q=mindfulness%20and%20nature&f=false
4. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/research_digest/does_nature_make_you_more_mindful
5. https://www.eckharttolle.com/books/now/