There is more and more scientific research emerging about the benefits of nature. All you have to do is google “the benefits of nature” to discover the new and evolving science and reasons to connect with nature.
Nature is good for your memory, boosts your mood, improves attention and boosts creativity. However I am asking you to look into your heart and ask yourself, do you really need this evidence? Do you already understand the true power of nature on your wellbeing? Can you feel it?
We are nature. We are one with our environment.
You know instinctively that being outside is good for you, you may have just lost your intuitive ability to connect with nature. So here, I am sharing with you, five easy ways for you to connect with nature via your senses in your everyday.
How can we use our senses to connect each day with nature and boost our wellbeing?
Sight. As you take a moment outdoors, you enjoy a walk or you gaze out of the window, really look at the world around you.
Focus on where your eye is drawn.
Are you intrigued by the branches of a tree?
Are you pulled to a new shoot emerging from the cracks within a wall or perhaps the sunlight has caught your eye?
Look close, notice the details, the patterns, the shapes, the lines.
Pay attention to the scene or object and really look at it.
Get closer if you can, look from a different angle, explore, be curious and observe.
This experience opens up your mind, releases stress and boosts your creativity. Give it a go.
Sound. When we focus our attention on our ears we have the ability to take notice of things we may have otherwise of missed.
Stand in a spot and close your eyes.
Take a deep breathe and focus on listening.
What can you hear? Listen for every little detail.
Where is it coming from? Can you hear more than one thing?
Stand still and listen. Take it all in.
This is an experience that children really enjoy too. Spend two minutes sitting in a spot and then compare what each one of you has heard.
Relax into the moment and feel at ease and at one with the world around you.
Plan a walk and commit to yourself to explore and be curious with your hands and feet.
As you walk, take notice of how your feet feel when they hit the ground, take notice of the pressure and the movement.
As you walk, reach out to the trunk of a tree and pay attention to the texture of the bark. Is it rough? Smooth? Slimy? Wet? Hard? Cold?
Touch a rock or leaf and observe the sensation as you rub your fingers over the body of the object. How do you feel?
Lay down on the ground and feel the heaviness of your body on the firm ground below. Label the feeling.
This is another wonderful exercise to help bring you in to the present moment, to relax the mind and boost your creativity.
A tricky one whilst out and about and unless you are an expert on native plants I do not recommend that you eat the plants or lick the trees unless you are confident that it is safe to do so.
However we can explore taste by embracing nature in the kitchen, garden or anywhere else you fancy a nibble.
My choice would be a piece of fruit or vegetable or a herb (homegrown would be even better but not to worry if not :-)).
Now take your chosen object and take a bite.
Focus your attention on the taste, really savour the moment.
Take it slow and absorb all the flavour with and notice your taste buds being stimulated.
Again focus your attention on the experience. It can sometimes help to close your eyes with this one.
If you are anything like me and you love the smell of freshly cut grass then you should find this one easy.
Take a cutting of your favourite herb and sit in a quiet and still space.
Take a long and slow deep breath in holding the herb under your nose.
Close your eyes again and take another deep breath.
Continue this process for a couple of minutes (at least) and really take in the sensation and smell of your object.
Does it make your mouth water? What words would you use to describe the smell?
When you are ready, take one last deep breath and then let it all go. How do you feel?
Everyday moments to connect with nature.
This is a collection of simple techniques to connect with nature through your senses everyday in a easy and accessible way. They can be easily adapted and used for children, adults and anyone who is willing to give it a go. The power is in your mind. Where you pay attention, you are able to focus on the sense that you wish to use. With practice as you walk, you will be able to switch between your senses and consciously take note of the beauty of nature all around you. You have the power. You have the control. You create the beauty, the moment and the memory. You can boost your wellbeing.
When you connect to nature in this way, you experience a sense of freedom, a moment of self connection and you will feel at one with the world, full of ease and appreciation for yourself, others and our planet.
You can read more about the scientific research around nature, wellbeing and mental health via these links below. If you have any additional information or would like to share your nature moments with me, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you.
A current ongoing research project – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-55746288