Autumn,Connection,Ecotherapy,Mental Health,Mindfulness,Nature,Wellbeing

A dose of vitamin N(ature)

As a society we have become disconnected from the natural world, immersed in technology and spending more time on social media, smartphones and being indoors.

This leads to nature deprivation which impacts our mental and physical wellbeing.

The biophilia effect

was originally coined in the 1960’s by Eric Fromm when he began to explore humans love of all living things. This was developed by Edward Wilson in the 1980’s which explored our innate urge to connect with other forms of life, the more than human, and that nature is essential for the human psyche.

In short, to function well, mentally and physically, we need nature.

So how have we become so disconnected from nature?

The demands of everyday life have us rushing around, trying to get jobs completed, meet deadlines or work longer hours. The rise of technology means mobile phones are a constant in our lives, streaming videos on the go, playing games or scrolling social media. The importance of our connection to nature has been lost, but it can be rediscovered.

Getting a dose of vitamin N

There are many ways to connect or re-connect to nature, such as birdwatching, gardening, having an allotment, walking through fields, forest bathing and volunteering for a conservation charity such as The Wildlife Trusts.

To help with this, I offer wellbeing walks (after finding Ian Banyard’s wonderful guidance about natural mindfulness), that highlights the nature locally, using fields, woodlands and country parks. These walks are not about how far you get or how fast you go. It is an opportunity to invest in yourself, slow down and put some stresses down for a while. By using natural mindfulness, I will guide you to awaken your senses, breathe with the seasons and come away feeling your body has relaxed, your mind has calmed, and your spirit is refreshed.

Being mindful in nature allows us to come back to nature, to rediscover it within us. There are many initiatives to help us find our way and this one in Australia highlights the power of nature and its meaning within us, I absolutely love this idea,

Tips on increasing wellbeing with nature

  • A digital detox – turn off your phone after a set time, e.g., 9pm,
  • Start your day by opening the back door and listening to the sounds of nature for 10 minutes, ideal whilst drinking your first cup of tea or coffee.
  • Connect to others through nature such as having an allotment or volunteering at a community allotment.
  • Take notice – be curious about the nature around you and notice the seasons changing.