One of the most underutilised ways of improving both our physical and mental health, is connecting with nature, and spending time outdoors. We are taught that when the weather drops chilly or rainy, we should be inside, but this practise closes us off from the most natural of health and mood boosters, the natural world. Read ahead to find out ways to connect with nature to improve mindset.
Get outside, whatever the weather
The first and most obvious way to connect with nature, is, of course to go outside! But what about when it’s cold and rainy? Then go outside then too! There is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. So, suit up, layer up, add your walking boots and waterproofs and get on the move.
You will be absorbing Vitamin D whether it’s sunny or not, and during those winter months your body will struggle with the lack of it. Making sure to still get out regardless of the weather will ensure you’re still getting that Vitamin D hit, which in turn helps you to feel better physically and mentally.
Going barefoot, or ‘grounding’ as it is often referred to, is a great way to feel better and more connected to both the Earth and yourself.
It may seem a little ‘out there’ that physically connecting yourself to the Earth can help you to feel restored and more grounded, but if we look at this from a very basic perspective, we are all natural beings, and we all feed from the Earth itself. It would then of course make sense that physically connecting with it somehow would make us feel better.
On a little more of a scientific level, when we connect with the Earth directly, we have access to a huge amount of free electrons, which help to neutralise free radicals (the things that make us feel crappy!).
Create your own nature space
Don’t have access to a regular, natural space? No garden? Then why not try and bring nature to you, by getting some house plants, opening doors and windows and letting some air into your home?
House plants are just as beneficial to our health as outdoor plants. They can help to cleanse the air in our homes and give us an oxygen boost too. Both of which improve indoor air quality, which can only help us to feel better in every sense.
Merge your interests and nature
When you’re at home what do you do for fun? Most activities that we consider indoor activities, could quite easily be adapted to being outdoor ones with a little planning.
For example, it’s so easy to throw a sketch book, pencils and paint pallet into a bag and take them out into a natural space with you.
It’s also absolutely glorious to take a book out with you, and delve into it whilst resting against a tree, amongst the peaceful sounds of a natural space.
Whatever interests you have, try taking them outside, and get the health benefits of nature and the outdoors while still enjoying your regular hobbies!
By learning to slow down and pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, we teach ourselves to slow down in other ways too. By becoming more mindful in nature, we can help keep our minds calm and focused on the present moment and the sounds in the natural space we are in, and less focused on worries elsewhere.
So, there are a few ways you can work on your connection to nature in order to help improve your mood and mindset. Nature really can heal.