Relaxation and simple mindfulness in nature and life
The gentle sound of walking in a meadow or by a river or canal conjures up a range of feelings, emotions and memories. Nature in its abundance has always been seen as our friend, research is showing more and more how beneficial it is to our well-being and wellness.
Being in a green space is an opportunity to still the mind, take note of what is around you and to experience what is known as mindfulness. Quite simply, mindfulness is a form of meditation that aims to keep us grounded in the NOW, with the aim of improving our mental and physical health. Mindfulness can be practised gently anywhere even when cooking and walking.
People often think of meditation as sitting in a place or space, however, it is much more accessible than that. I am sure you can identify someone in your network who may practice that in a class, at home or temple. Meditation requires concentration to clear away distractions which require a lot of motivation and practice.
Mindfulness quite simply just requires your attention, training yourself to become aware of your thoughts and feelings, checking in with yourself right here and right NOW.
In the hustle and bustle of life, we spend time and energy moving from A to B, often going through the processes without thinking or feeling them.
Through my mindfulness training and practice, I have found it quite liberating to STOP and THINK about how I manage my thoughts, time and outputs in my life.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is now gaining momentum in research demonstrating reduction of stress and anxiety. In the world of academia, it is now being shown to help patients with long-term conditions with symptoms of pain, anxiety and stress. GPs are beginning to refer clients to local groups and online programmes to learn about the exercises and a new way of managing their health conditions.
The mind can focus on the past and on the future, mindfulness teaches us to be in the NOW. It helps us to enhanced awareness of our environment, feelings, thoughts and behaviours. It helps us to learn how to become more of a “human just being “versus a “human doing” all the time. Mindfulness exercises are accessible online and a range of books and now colouring books at most stores.
I do hope you find this mini blog helpful.
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About Annie Ford
Annie is a therapeutic integrative counsellor in Mid Devon, she has worked extensively in the NHS in London medical school hospitals, hospices and community as a nurse specialist in cancer and midwifery dealing with loss and bereavement. As a lead nurse for health diversity in London she has published in the HSJ on cultural health needs.