Finding Mindfulness in Nature
How much time did you spend outside today?
According to a recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the average American spends a mere 7% of their life outdoors. Broken down, that’s only only one half of one day per week spent outdoors!
Shocking I know!
Thankfully researchers have found that both mood and self-esteem are improved when spending as little as five minutes moving outdoors (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010, 44, 10, 3947–3955).
So take the time to consciously reconnect with the natural world we live in. Here are a few practices that can help you start this mindful practice today.
-Do a nature meditation. Finding yourself a comfortable spot by the foot of a tree or basking in warm sunlight, take slow deep breaths as you bring your attention to your surroundings. Be receptive and inviting to all that is happening around you. Become aware that you are a part of this living, breathing ecosystem.
-Walk barefoot outside. Walking without shoes and with awareness can be a profound experience. Let your feet sink into connecting with the earth (whether it's the sand, grass or even the pavement) and pay attention to how it feels in each foot.
-Meditate on the sound of water. Closing your eyes or maintaining a softened gaze connect with your breath and allow your attention to focus on the sound of water. Studies have shown that the presence of water has an even bigger effect on your mental health, so South Floridians take advantage of this one and visit your local beach this weekend!
-Hike with your hands. Similar to walking barefoot, this is another way to incorporate the sense of touch during a mindful walk. Rub your fingers, hands, even your arms over the bark of a nearby tree, the moss on a rock, the earth and/or the sand underneath. Perhaps you are able to gather a fragrant leaf or flower into you hands and inhale the fragrances.
Here at Om'echaye Wellness and Fitness Center we are excited to offer a new Outdoor Vinyasa class (weather permitted) to help you deepen your connectedness with nature as you improve your mental health because part of our goal here is we want you to be able to become the best version of yourself and we believe that together we can achieve great things!