With the daily chaotic, go-go-go lifestyle we all fall victim to it is easy for us to stray away from a natural piece of the puzzle missing in our lives: nature. Being outside is a natural human quality that is sadly under-used and under-appreciated in today’s hectic world. When was the last time you surrounded yourself in nature and truly paid attention? Chances are it was probably the last time you went camping or to the beach. The benefits of being outside trump any benefits of being inside such as, lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, lower stress level, and a relaxed state of mind. The goal is to not only go outside and say go far a walk, but to be outside and be present and appreciate all the finer things mother nature has to offer. Quiet the mind, engage your senses and be fully aware of your surroundings. Listen to the birds chirping in the trees, the breeze rustling the leaves, notice the shapes of the clouds in the sky, the colors of the forage around and use your sense of smell for any thing interesting in the air, maybe a distinct foliage, humidity or animal life.
A fascinating book I am reading is called The Prima Connection by Mark Sisson who is also the author of another great big you may have heard of called The Primal Blueprint. In The Primal Connection he talks about the importance of being outside and options that can help you exercise your senses and reconnect with nature and I would like to share them with you now:
- Grab a handful of soil. Smell it and crumble it between your fingers.
- Watch the clouds for five minutes.
- Create a small sandbox. Put your feet in and wiggle your toes.
- Go barefoot outdoors. Every day, and yes, even in winter.
- Set up a bird feeder outside your window. Enjoy the sense of community.
- Find a stream. Ditch the shoes and socks and step in.
- Go outside. Find something different every day to smell.
- Drop absolutely everything. Go outside and listen.
- Bring your book outside. Do a little reading amidst nature.
- Stop to appreciate the moon. Full or otherwise.
- Pick a favorite tree. It can be in your yard, your neighborhood, or near your work site. Notice how it changes with the seasons.
- Be in full contact with the earth. Lie on the grass. Roll down a hill. Jump off a berm.
- Handle the vegetation. Feel the leaves and bark of every tree in your yard, the flowers in your pots, a patch of wild grass.
Whatever it is your choose to do, find a way to get outside, take in all that mother nature has to offer you, absorb it, digest it and I guarantee you will be in a much better mood and state of mind.