A strong, and defined, connection with nature lies at the core of creating a healthy physical and mental lifestyle. As well as helping keep the planet healthy it can build community ties. It has been stated that noticing “good things” in nature will help build this connection and develop a sense of wellbeing.
Connecting with nature for the benefit of the planet
Recently there has been an increased movement to re-connect people with nature to assist with the positive environmental approach and to improve the fate of the planet. More and more people are becoming members of charities and groups such as the RSPB, The Woodland Trust or the Wildlife Trusts all over the country. These groups encourage people to get outdoors and interact with nature and to get involved in events and activities that can help nature; such as litter picks, nature monitoring or even woodland management.
The benefits of these activities are two-fold; they help the group achieve their goals of supporting and maintaining nature and the environment and they allow people to out in nature and feel a sense of wellbeing both physically and mentally.
We have discussed previously, in our blog Noticing Nature, that it is important to notice what is around you and being aware of the flora and fauna that you share the world with.
To aid your connecting with nature or your re-connection with nature, you should notice up to 3 things a day. They don’t have to be big things. It could be as simple as noticing how a rain drop runs down your window or the splash of colour provided in the park by the winter blooms. Making a conscious mental record of these things will develop and improve your connecting with nature and will enable you to use it to your benefit whenever life gets a bit too much.
Our experiences of connecting with nature
We at Wild Minds, have always loved being in nature and we are forever finding new things or noticing small changes. This attention to the nature around us has helped in so many ways with being able to handle life and the trials it can put us through.
Making mental records isn’t our only way of noticing nature. We take loads of photos when we’re out on a walk (something we do frequently), one or other of us is stopping to take a photo of something beautiful we have seen and want to save as a memory and as a link to the place we have been and the nature there. We often look back on the photo’s we have taken and it brings us a positive feeling and helps calm become the overarching emotion, no matter what else might be going on.
Taking your connection even further
For those of you who crave adventure and want to fully immerse yourself in the wonders that our natural world has to offer; why don’t you take yourself off camping or to an off-grid hut in the woods? Leave your technology at home (or at least maybe in the car in case of emergencies), pitch your tent in a beautiful location, light your gas hob (or fire if you’re able to) and watch, listen and enjoy. Take a walk in a completely new place and find new ways to connect you with nature. Listen to new animals and find new stars and constellations in the night sky. Whatever you do or wherever you are, you will feel your connection becoming stronger and this will strengthen your ability to handle the day to day once you return home.
You don’t have to go off-grid though to take your connection further. If your normal walks are around your local park, try going to a nearby woodland instead. If you haven’t ever experienced a walk along the public footpaths near you, go and explore. You will be surprised what you might find and how positive you feel when you get home after a new adventure.
Whatever it is you decide to do; take some time in nature. Pay attention to the little things around you and grow your connection with the beautiful natural world we have available to us.