Practicing mindfulness in nature provides a way to cultivate a deep connection with the earth. Indigenous wisdom keepers acknowledge a sense of belonging, humility and deep respect for nature. These traditions recognise ancestral ties and sacred spaces practicing forest bathing, working with medicine wheels and coming into mindfulness. That stillness exists in all of us. Moreover, when we’re mindful in nature we’re less stressed. More connected. Our resilience increases. Our consciousness expands. It boosts our wellbeing. What’s not to like? Here are Planet Positive Change’s top mindfulness in nature tips.
Feel your feet, connecting to the earth. Tune in to her natural rhythms. See? You’re already being mindful in nature. That connection is innate. It’s inbuilt, in all of us.
Mindfulness in Nature Practice 1: Walking
Being outdoors, in nature is a great way to combine the benefits of mindfulness and ecopsychology. Choose somewhere beautiful, for example, somewhere that takes your breath away. Research has found that awe has health boosting benefits. We think that’s awesome (see what we did there?). Based in the beautiful UNESCO Lake District there’s a lot of that awe going on (come & visit – find out for yourself). Notice the trees as you walk. How many shades of green do you see? What is the texture of bark like? Bring your attention to the natural world around you. Can you hear birdsong? Feel the sun against your skin and the wind blowing through your hair.
Practice 2: Use your Senses
Firstly, step out of striving. Secondly, surrender to accepting nature as your guide. Using your senses, tune in to what’s around you. What can you hear? Is it a loud or soft sound and where is it? Near or far away in the distance somewhere? What is the quality of that sound? As a result of that quality, do you detect a hum or a steady beat? On the other hand, you might notice aromas are hanging in the air. How about your sense of touch? How do the leaves feel? Soft or hard? Furry? (yes, we’ve seen the odd furry leaf on our travels, for instance, Lamb’s ear (or Stachys Byzantina if you ‘d like to be fancy). Above all, open up your sense completely to the natural world around you.
Practice 3: Journal
With a resident writer on board, this is one of our favourite mindfulness in nature practices. Grab a pen and a journal for this practice. Find somewhere comfortable to sit. Allow nature to be your muse. When inspiration doesn’t appear immediately, in addition, use these journalling in nature prompts. Above all, don’t self censor, allow your creativity to flow. This is your journal.
- When I’m in nature I feel…..
- My favourite season is….because
- If this lake could talk, this is the story it would tell is…
- Record your observations with words, doodles or sketches. This is your nature journal. There are no rules.
You’ve now achieved a solid foundation for being mindful in nature. In conclusion, you can make these mindfulness in nature practices your own. Use them whenever, you’re outdoors to connect with your environment. Notice the insights that Mother Nature reveals to you. How has your energy shifted as a result of being in nature? It’s all mindfulness in nature. Before you leave, sit in stillness. Offer gratitude to the natural world and make a date to return. She’s always there.
Discover more about being more mindful in nature at Mindful Rewilding for more on mindfulness, ecopsychology and ancient wisdom.