I’m reading an article in the most recent Psychologies Magazine about how regular time in nature contributes to wellbeing of mind, body and soul, and it suggests that even spending 5 or 10 minutes outdoors with nature can be beneficial in reducing anxiety and can make us feel happier.
I know that I don’t get to spend nearly enough time outside. I do try to go for a walk at lunchtime, but quite often, due to location, that around a housing estate or hospital grounds. We are fortunate that there are open fields behind the hospital and I get a move on I might just have time to go that way. I guess even in a housing estate, nature has its place in well-manicured (or even overgrown) gardens and hedgerow. You just need to look hard enough.
When we were kids we used to holiday most years in the wilds or North Wales. A beautiful spot with mountains to climb, trails to walk and forests to play in. In adult years, when we’ve been away, we’ve always had what we’ve called “long walk day”. A day put aside (hopefully with good weather) to go on a 5-10 mile trek. No distractions but the views around us. Taking in the sights and sounds of nature doing its thing.
Having to work most days means that going out for long walks or further afield is not easily achievable. However we are lucky that we have some nice park spaces quite nearby.
According to the 10 question quiz that always accompanies these articles the thing that I should find most benefit from time outdoors is grounding.
“If you crave calm or wish you feel more grounded and connect to what matters, upgrading the quality of the time you spend in nature ma provide the shift you need. It’s easy to spend time outdoors on autopilot, or use it as a way to being with others – but you’ll benefit most from spending at least some time in nature on your own, so you can tune into the stillness and connect with your inner calm. If your tendency is to live in your head, time in nature can be a much-needed way of paying attention to your physical self. Finding the ground beneath your feet may even be the first step to finding a new direction in life.
You’ll get the most benefit by focussing on the here and now as you walk. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you can’ leave your emotional baggage behind but, when you become aware that you’re caught up in thinking, direct your focus outwards by noticing the colours, textures, sounds, smells and sensations. We can all benefit from a daily grounding ritual but, for chronic over thinkers, it can be life-changing”
Like most people, I haven’t had a proper holiday for nearly a year and a half now (since summer 2019), so when we are able to, I will relish the chance to get out and have some time to wander around new places and spaces to take in the sensations.
One thought on “Natural Wellbeing”
Yep, always plugging the benefits of walking in fresh air and nature. Hope you can develop more opportunities to do so in the coming months