Nature surrounds us. Even in the concrete jungle that many of us live in today, nature still persists and often triumphs, albeit in trace amounts. For most of us, taking to expansive gardens and nature trails are our way of reconnecting with the green. Yet, there can be more to our experience than just wandering hither and thither. To truly appreciate the flora and fauna, mindfulness is required.
Being conscious and aware of your surroundings and yourself can help you to live in the moment. Dwelling on the little bits and pieces of what goes on around you can nudge you a step closer towards appreciation. Set your phone to airplane mode to get rid of outside distractions and immerse yourself in the present. Take notice of the sounds, sights, and even the smell that surrounds you. Things that you take for granted, such as the strength of the wind or the movement of clouds can be exceptionally beautiful and calming. Take some time to realise the emotions these sensations evoke and let it wash over you.
Up your photography skills
While we’re not suggesting that you go trigger-happy in snapping shots for Instagram, you can embrace your inner shutterbug as a means of forming a stronger connection with nature. As you compose your shot, ask yourself the intention behind the photo that you are about to take. Is it for you to better remember the emotions that you are feeling now? What kind of message are you trying to convey with your imagery? In working to define your meaning through photography, you also do the same in your relationship with nature.
Pack a pen and paper
Journaling outdoors while you are experiencing your thoughts first-hand can translate into vivid and in-depth journaling. For those who find it difficult to reflect by closing your eyes and exercising your mind, writing it down ink can be a much easier alternative. Find a quiet spot and pen down your thoughts – it can be about that specific moment in time or even any revelations and moments of catharsis regarding past events. Put it down in terms that are intuitive to you – no one’s asking you to turn into Hemingway!
Our affinity with nature is in our genes, but centuries of civilisation has played its part in dulling that to a certain extent. Yet, it is never too late to rediscover our roots. Not only does it encourage gratitude and appreciation, it can also help you to de-stress and be more mindful. Try it out and you may just end up seeing the space you are inhabiting in a whole new light!