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Nature and Mindfulness

From a stroll in the park or sitting outside, there are many ways to connect with nature. Connecting with nature has been shown to host a variety of benefits to our health; both mentally and physically.


Nature therapy, also called Ecotherapy, incorporates nature to the psychotherapy process. Nature therapy has been shown to offer a great antidote to our technology-saturated world.


Mindfulness

According to Mayo Clinic, mindfulness is a meditation practice that increases our awareness and mind-body connection. By paying attention, living in the moment, and accepting ourselves, we have the opportunity to decrease burnout, improve sleep, improve attention, and even combat life threatening illnesses associated with an increase in stress.



What are some examples of nature-based mindfulness exercises?


Forrest Bathing

Derived from the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku. Forrest Bathing explores the medicinal practice of spending time amongst the trees. This mindfulness practice allows us to take a break from ruminating thoughts, worry, and the predispositions of present-day stressors, reconnect and further recharge.


Try to go on a slow-paced walk and using your 5 senses:

  • What are a few things you hear?

  • What are a few things you see?

  • What can you feel?

  • Can you taste anything?

*Be careful of tasting or touching just anything in nature.

While using your senses we can attune to the present moment and take a break from the overwhelming experiences offered by our face paced society.


Empathy Walk

  • Find an example of struggle in nature.

  • Find something that creates gratitude within all that nature has to offer.

  • Find an example of unity in all the diversity within nature.

  • Find an example of something that is healing in nature.


Sit and Observe


In a comfortable, seated position, simply observe your surroundings.

  • Search for and notice interesting patterns in nature. This can be found in a flower, leaf, or even a stem of grass.

  • Become aware of each breath cycle. Inhale, pause, exhale. Bring your attention back to the breath if and when your mind wanders.


Next time you are in nature take a few moments to slow down and practice some mindfulness.


Slow down, Breath, Reconnect





Key Therapy now offers outdoor therapy. Contact our front office coordinator to connect with a therapist that offers outdoor therapy.

https://www.keytherapycounseling.com/




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