When I am feeling overworked or stressed I take some time out and commune with nature, to find some inner peace again. It’s one of the ways I manage to find a bit of serenity in a calamitous and chaotic world. Today was one of those days after another trip to the vets. Not many of us can hold back a smile when watching two dogs frolicking in the park, I know I certainly can’t, especially when it’s my two crazy cockers spaniels Rosie and Daisy.
Studies have found that communing with nature can release powerful chemicals which can make you feel happiness and give you energy. Even if you can’t take a walk in the park, there are other ways to commune with nature inside your home or office. Look out the window for awhile and observe the birds and other beautiful things of nature. Take some deep breaths and relax while focusing on the moment you’re in.
Nature can relax all the senses and have a profound effect on your mental and physical well-being. If you’re under a lot of stress, observing and being surrounded by nature can relax you and boost your spirits almost immediately. Even bringing flowers and plants indoors can cheer you up if you can’t make an outdoors trek.
Taking breaks to commune with nature has been proven to boost your self-esteem and general well-being. If you can garden or ride a bicycle through the park or engage in any type of activity outdoors, you’ll be doing yourself a favour. Your behaviour can also be improved with a short or long commune with nature. Studies indicate that the senses which contribute to your happiness and well-being can also be emotional boosts that can improve your friendliness toward others and help you release anger and frustration.
Next time you venture outdoors, take a minute to observe your surroundings. Focus on the things that make you happy and be especially mindful of how the air you breathe and the things you observe affect your mood. Even five minutes outdoors can make you happier and more relaxed. You may find that you’re more productive after communing with nature than you would have been after hours of working at your desk.
Recapture Your Sense Of Calm
Recapture your sense of calm when you spend some time in nature and follow these tips:
- Be comfortable. Dress comfortably and take plenty of beverages and snacks. This is easy if you’re driving the car to your special nature spot. Remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Avoid distractions. If you take your phone, turn it on silent mode to avoid being alarmed by its ringtone. For now, you plan to exchange your own world for that of the park or forest.
- Walk on well-marked paths. Ensure you can find your way back.
- Forget about the noise going on in your head. Allow the stressful thoughts to float away. Just let go of all the pressures. You’re in one of your favourite places now. No worries exist there!
- Listen to the sounds that surround you. Maybe the trees are rustling in the wind, the birds are singing, or you hear an animal call.
- Use visual cues to relax. Leave your world behind. Look around and notice all the green trees. See the dirt path, the tiny ants crawling on a log, and the spider web.
- Steep yourself in the smells of your surroundings. What is that fragrance? A hint of honeysuckle? The woodsy fragrance of pine? Breathe in and breathe out consciously.
- The tactile sensations come next. Are the leaves of a bush lightly brushing your arms? Are you challenged to keep your footing on the bumpy path? Physically coming into contact with nature is an important part of the experience, in addition to the sights, sounds and smells.
- Look for the little animals in the woods. Maybe you’ll spot a squirrel. Observing other mammals is fascinating and you’ll learn something every time you watch an animal.
- Notice the birdcalls. Perhaps two or more birds are talking to one another.
- Be aware of what the air feels like. It’s a clean, fresh, crisp feeling. Maybe the sun is shining or perhaps you’re deep in a thicket of trees where it’s dank and mossy.
- Visit a pine forest. If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of a pine tree forest, consider visiting this awesome example of nature’s Zen experiences. Sit down on a bed of pine needles and just be.
- Think about gratitude. What are you grateful for in your life? Focus on the simple things. “I love my chair in the living room with my books piled high next to it.” “I’m grateful for the sunset I see each evening from my kitchen window.” “I’m grateful for having eyes to see and hands that work for me.”
- Reflect on your accomplishments. Toward the end of your nature visit, give yourself a pat on the back for a difficult situation you’ve made it through recently.
- Enjoy the peace. Realise that right at this moment, you feel a sense of calm, peacefulness, and serenity that you can return to any time you want, simply by visiting this wonderful corner of nature.
Commune with nature and immerse yourself in the experiences of it. Allow yourself to be keenly aware of the sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere around you. No matter where your favourite outdoors spots are, visit them regularly to return to what’s most important: You!
Don’t forget every Sunday I share a Self Care Sunday Idea to help you stay on track in terms of your own self care.
Have a wonderful, colourful, mindful evening, much love Joanne
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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