Mindfulness in Nature, with Maggie Wilhelm
Hello! I'm Maggie Wilhelm, LPCC and Empowerment Coach. I'm here to share a few concepts that I've embraced with age that have deeply impacted my mental health.
Research has shown that practicing mindfulness in nature can help to boost our mood and increase our feelings of connectedness. Mindfulness is the practice of intentionally living with awareness in the present moment without judgement, rejection, or attachment.
Still pondering how to really practice mindfulness? Here are some helpful tips.
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) teaches that the core of mindfulness is “what skills” & “how skills”.
What skills are what you do to practice mindfulness: OBSERVING (notice your body sensations), DESCRIBING (label what you observe), and PARTICIPATING (throw yourself completely into the activity in the current moment).
How skills are how you practice mindfulness: NON-JUDGMENTALLY (acknowledge your values, wishes, & emotional reactions but don’t judge them), ONE MINDFULLY (let go of distractions), and EFFECTIVELY (be mindful of your goal & focus on what works).
Nature is an ideal place to develop your mindfulness practice. Some simple suggestions include:
- Make your way to an environment that inspires you.
- Try not to have an agenda or timeline, and allow yourself to relax.
- Use your five senses to be fully present in the experience. This is not an Instagram moment, it’s all about fully embracing your current surroundings.
- Take a walk, observe the sun shining through the leaves, feel the wind blow against your face, listen to a babbling brook. Notice your feelings.
- Practice gratitude for the moment.
- Notice the energy in you and around you, and take time to reflect on how it moves you.
Practicing mindfulness can help us regulate emotions, leading to improved mood, relationships, and healthy decision making. And we can all use more time away from our screens!
Header image by Jasmin Chew from Pexels.
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