We’ve spent almost a year being cooped up at home, which is why we can’t blame people when they shun yoga classes, at-home meditation, or other indoor mindful activities. But mindfulness can be practiced outdoors too! Let’s look at 5 mindful activities you can do in nature.
Why does mindfulness matter?
Before we delve into these activities, let’s understand why they’re important for you. What’s the big deal with mindfulness? Mindfulness is a state of mind where you are aware and present in the current moment. Being mindful comes with tons of benefits, including improved self-awareness, better moods, and a more positive attitude towards life. Taking control of your thoughts and being more reflective is a great way to enhance your existing lifestyle.
Mindfulness in nature
There’s a huge misconception that mindfulness is confined to at-home activities like yoga and meditation. In fact, practicing mindfulness outdoors can even boost the benefits of your mindful activities. Being outdoors, in a peaceful environment, helps to enhance your focus and reap the most benefits out of your mindful activities. And at the very least, it’s a great change of scenery from your WFH setup! Just being outside can immediately improve your mood and re-center your emotions, letting you focus on reflecting and being aware of yourself.
Mindful activities to do in nature
#1 Meditation walks
Who said meditation involved being cross-legged and unmoving? Meditation walks are a fun variation of your usual meditation routine. Here’s how to do it. Find a relatively simple path to walk along slowly. Take deep breaths and clear your mind as you look ahead. While gazing at the scenery, pay attention more to your thoughts than your surroundings. Acknowledge your thoughts instead of judging them – let them flow past and reflect on them. This will give you a better understanding of your feelings while coming to terms with events that have happened in your day.
#2 Breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises can encourage mindfulness by helping you focus on the present moment. Find a nice, peaceful spot in nature. This could be a park bench or a zen area of rocks. Close your eyes and take deep breaths, inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through your nose. Focus on your senses and try to dim your thoughts. Listen to what’s around you, smell what’s in the area, and feel the crisp air. When you’re done, take some time to just enjoy the present moment and leave the exercise with better clarity.
#3 Mindful gardening
Mindful gardening is an interesting spin on your typical mindful activities. Activities like mindful eating tend to encourage you to focus on your current task because this promotes awareness of the present. Mindful gardening is no exception. If you’re lucky enough to own a garden, get your tools out and give mindful gardening a go. This activity is easy to attempt but hard to execute: go about your gardening with full attention. Don’t multitask, don’t think about unrelated activities. Simply appreciate the present moment. While this may be difficult, it’s an activity that will boost your mindfulness to another level once you master it.
Give one of these three activities a try over the weekend and watch your mindfulness improve over time. No time for mindfulness or need to practice mindfulness in a pinch? Use a mindful timer like Timeqube to practice mindfulness on a schedule. It’s a colorful timer that changes color with the passing of time – unobtrusive, aesthetic, and the perfect way to manage your time will being mindful.