Most of us enjoy being out and about in the countryside but, in the drama of our everyday lives, we often find it difficult to switch off, the humdrum of our inner monologue ever present.
A is for Awareness
One of the most important facets of mindfulness is awareness, defined as a knowledge of something at the present time. And one of the easiest ways to be present is to focus on the small things, those very special notes of nature that are all around us, all the time.
Focusing on the small
When you’re next outside, find a quiet spot and focus on something close to you; a blackbird foraging among decaying beech leaves, a dew-spangled spider web, or the furrowed trunk of an old, gnarled oak tree.
Rest your hand on the bark and feel its rough surface. Look closely at each groove. Put your ear to the trunk and listen as it creaks. Smell it. Then gaze into its eaves and watch the shifting shapes and colours sway though its boughs.
With any luck, you’ll stir some time later and realise that, for those blissful moments, you were aware.
To learn more about the benefits of spending time in forests, read our article: why everyone can benefit from heading into the woods
Main image ©Getty
Subscribe to BBC Countryfile Magazine today and you can enjoy generous savings from the shop price plus, free UK delivery and discounts off special editions and back issues.