Credit visitisleofwight.co.uk

The Outdoor Mindfulness Guide

Here at Gift to Nature HQ we’re always looking for ways to improve and this month we thought we would share a mindfulness technique that will get you walking in the great outdoors and enjoying all the beauty our little Island has to offer.

If you’re even a smidgen into self-care, you’ll already be au fait with mindfulness and all the wondrous health benefits related to it. For those who don’t know, put simply, mindfulness is the art of practicing a mental state that focuses awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting the feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations that pass you by. The health benefits related to mindfulness include:

  • Decreased stress
  • Enhanced mental and brain function
  • Increased awareness on your feelings and better self control

All states you’ll agree we’re all striving for? It’s fairly easy to find 10 minutes a day to sit down and practice some simple mindfulness techniques with the help of apps, CDs or YouTube videos, so why do we all fail to make this part of our day?

Perhaps it comes down the sitting still part, twenty-first century life is busy, fast paced so we struggle with simply sitting down and doing nothing. So why don’t we combine our mindfulness practices with a walk in the great outdoors? Moving your body and having the added scenery takes away any awkward feelings you might have trying to practice mindfulness at home; whilst your wife is washing the dishes behind you, your 4 year old just knocked down a Lego tower or you cat jumped on your lap and is adamant on cuddles.

How to practice mindfulness outdoors

Go for a 20 minute walk in nature, be present in your surroundings and take deep, warming breathes. Be aware of how your walking (your strides, your pace etc…) as well how your surroundings feel, smell and look. As you walk, begin to pull your focus inwards (keeping your eyes open) on your thoughts. Rather than dwell on your thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them pass out of your consciousness, accepting they are there but that right now is not the time to solve them. After your walk, you’ll also feel energised, have burned a fair few calories and taken in some good old fresh air!

Our sites are the perfect location for you to practice ‘outdoor mindfulness’ with a host of terrains (29 of them in fact), you won’t be short of inspiration… You could ponder at the pond at Pig Leg Lane, climb up the magical slopes at Bonchurch Landslip or don your wellies and head to Afton Marsh.

Click here to see our full list of sites and locations.

Please direct any questions to: daisy.steinberg@gifttonatture.org.uk and feel free to share your walks across social media using #mymindfulnesswalk & @gifttonature

 

Image credit: visitisleofwight.co.uk