A to Z of mindfulness in nature

In our new series – the A to Z of mindfulness – we look at the various ways that nature and the countryside can be used to help improve physical and mental wellbeing


15th June 2018
Awareness in nature
A is for Awareness 
A is for Awareness ©Lynn Hatzius

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. Find out more.

B is for Bivouacking
B is for Bivouacking
B is for Bivouacking ©Lynn Hatzius

On a clear spring night, few things can beat the simplicity of falling asleep beneath the stars. It’s something we’ve done since our time on Earth began and, out in the open, as shooting stars cut the sky and owls call, that sense of a less complicated time is stirred. Find out more here.

C is for Collecting
Collecting natural items for mindfulness
C is for Collecting ©Lynn Hatzius

Sometimes a simple, absorbing activity can transform your mental state to a pinpoint of calm. Setting yourself a gentle collecting mission on each walk can help you focus on the outside world, taking your attention away from any inner anxieties and ‘things to do’ lists. Find out more about collecting natural items.

D is for Drawing
D is for Drawing ©Lynn Hatzius

Drawing can be as simple or complicated as you like, but all it really requires is a piece of paper and a pencil. Find a quiet moment in your day to focus on sketching a landscape or object, relaxing your breathing as you draw. Find out more.

E is for Exercise
E is for Exercising
E is for Exercise ©Lynn Hatzius

Regular exercise to improve physical health is a given. But taking regular walks to improve mental health is not so embedded. The simple act of placing one foot after another creates a rhythm with your breathing that relaxes your mind, helping you to cope with stress and solve problems. Find out more.

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

F is for Forest Bathing

Forest Bathing

Also known as forest therapy, forest bathing encourages frazzled urbanites to slow down, relax and engage their senses with the woodland around them: the sound of the wind in the leaves, the fragrance of fern and fungus, the play of dappled light on the forest floor. Find out more.

G is for Gardening and Growing
G is for Gardening
G is for Gardening ©Lynn Hatzius

The simple process of tilling soil, creating fertile beds for flowers and vegetables, is deeply satisfying. The repetitive manual labour keeps the mind focused on the present – and also frees it to be creative or to work out problems against a backdrop of rhythmic weeding and digging. Find out more.

H is for Hammock
H is for Hammock
H is for Hammock ©©Lynn Hatzius

Sit back, relax and enjoy the world around you – time alone in a hammock beneath the trees can help you to be more present. Find out more.

Main image ©Getty

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