Stepping into nature is an effortless way to connect with our wellbeing and thrive. We are nature; we were born to live in a natural environment. We just need to get out in it!
Nature is everywhere, even in cities: it’s our parks, our green spaces, our back gardens or balconies.
Our bodies feel good in nature, our minds feel calm. Some say this is as important as your 5-a-day, in terms of wellbeing.
In modern-day living we can spend most of our days in an unnatural, man-made environment: we live in a boxed world. We wake up in a concrete box (our house!) drive to work in a box (our car!) work in a box, drive home in a box and then have dinner and sleep in a box, to do the same all over again the next day!
We are actually living in a way that is unnatural to us as human beings. As humans, the environment in which we thrive the most is a natural outdoors environment, not in a concrete jungle.
We underestimate the incredible benefits and positive impact that spending time outdoors, in nature, can have on our wellbeing and mental health. I love the research conducted by British Neuroscientist Dr Andrea Michelli, which shares that ‘the positive effects of just a single exposure to nature each day, such a walk, run or stint in the garden, can last for seven hours after an individual has experienced it’! So if we can get that outdoors/ nature stint into our morning, i.e. taking the dog for a walk, that will impact us having a much more positive day… who doesn’t want that?! Such an easy way to set ourselves up for a better day : ).
The important thing when getting into nature, to get the full benefits, is having a digital detox (yes…that means putting your phone away!) When you go out in nature, and spend that time glued to your phone screen, text messages, social media, etc., you significantly limits the benefits.
To get the full benefits from being in nature, put your phone away, on silent, and instead, tune into what you are experiencing in nature.
A great way to do this is to bring attention to each of your five senses. Bring your attention to something in nature you can touch, smell, see, hear and taste (last one can be a bit tricky!). This exercise brings you into the present moment, calms the mind and helps to connect you with your innate wellbeing. You will come away with more motivation, and a more positive mindset.
I invite you to try getting into nature every day for the next 7 days, phone off!, and share back with me how it impacted your mood and overall wellbeing.