Mindfulness and the great outdoors
Aug 13, 2012
I’m on holiday. Well, I am a business owner and the mother of two small children so I am not ever really on holiday. But I am away from the studio and on break from most professional commitments spending time with my family.
We have been camping and cottaging and spending as much time as possible outdoors. The impact on my mental health has been huge. Spending time outdoors is as important to our wellbeing as regular exercise and healthy eating.
Here, I am much more mindful of my surroundings. Every time we set off on an adventure, which may simply be a hike down to the rocky shore, my daughter reminds us to look out for flowers, birds, and butterflies. We notice sounds and smells in greater strength. The pace and quality of mental stimulation are slower, grander and more profound than the constant barrage of electronic media.
It’s easy to be mindful and relaxed when I am outdoors, in nature, on holiday. I am away from the city, away from the grind, the traffic, the noise, the rush-rush to get to work, to get the kids to school, to arrange daycare and play dates and after school activities and meetings and on and on and on. On holiday, the only lunches I have to pack are for when we go for a picnic on the beach.
We will be back in the city soon. How can I take this feeling home with me and keep it alive?
Well, of course, there is an App for that.
I have downloaded some mindfulness meditations onto my phone. The app I have provides guided meditations in lengths of 5-10-15-30-and 40 minutes.
I have at various times in my life practiced meditation. I know that like everything else, developing a regular mediation practice takes commitment and effort, that meditation gets easier with practice and the benefits are accrued over time and only with regular practice.
So refreshed from my time outdoors I will return to the rate race and endeavor to maintain this sense of focused mindfulness with a regular mediation practice. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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