When connecting to nature through all five senses, you can draw on the health enhancing benefits the natural world provides. Disconnecting from the stimulation of screens and changing perspective through our senses, allows us to ground, cultivate calm and resets our nervous system.
We understand now more than ever, the effects that blue light, Wi-Fi and electromagnetic signals have on our bodies, but what are what are we doing to combat the consequences?
There needn’t be expensive glasses to mask an issue or to extend screen time, nor should there be drastic lifestyle changes to off grid living… but wouldn’t that be AMAZING?!
I propose that some simple, effective solutions, involve doing less, rather than adding more to our to do list.
The below ideas are achievable. When actions are realistic we are more likely to continue doing them right?! Habits and behaviours can be difficult to break so if your anxiety and stress levels aren’t enough of a good reason, then find one that is!!
WHAT: Barefoot Walk
HOW: Walk barefoot on the grass, along the beach or anywhere outdoors for 10 mins
WHY: We have over 7000 receptors on our feet that allow us to feel cold, hot, soft, hard, pain, and provide signals that provide ‘grounding’. Reduce stress; become more balanced- figuratively and literally. Stressed or anxious at work, take your shoes off and feel the anxiety lift!
WHAT: Your Nose Knows
HOW: Make time to step outdoors and smell the roses, literally. Or whatever flowers and plants you have in the garden.Smell the aromas. Some smells are designed to attract the birds and the bee's to pollinate. Other smells, the phytochemicals are the active compounds that protect the trees from bacteria, fungas and insect. Their defense system acts as a antibacterial and anti-microbial barriers, that when we inhale these smells, we benefits in the same way.
WHY: Slowing down to observe the smaller things in nature allows us to gain perspective on the bigger things in life. Appreciation of beauty in nature creates a feeling of interconnectedness of all life, things greater than us and minimizes the scale of our perceived problems.
WHAT: Ground The Grind With These 5 Steps
HOW: Step outside and find a quiet place to sit. In your head, quietly say to yourself 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
WHY: By engaging our senses it brings awareness to our body and allows us to step out of our heads. A great stress relieving exercise, repeat as many times as required.
WHAT: Plant The Power Of Green
HOW: Buy a house plant, if you have some buy another one.
WHY: Plants provide a number of benefits; calm mood and improve immunity, filter air, produce oxygen, assists with respiratory issues by creating a more humid environment PLUS providing a beautiful aesthetic, cultivating gratitude for all life
WHAT: New horizons
HOW: Whether on your lunch break, before or after work, whenever you can spare an hour, take yourself somewhere you haven’t been before. This doesn’t need to be some far away land, just a park around the corner or a beach nearby. Look at a leaf up close. Notice the veins. How they branch off. Now look into the horizon. What is the furthest thing you can see? The faint outline of the trees? Clouds high in the sky? A dog playfully bounding in the park. Now look back at the leaf.
WHY: Humans can create patterns of behaviour and won’t often step out of their ingrained ways. Changing things up provides a different perspective, creates a flexible approach and opens up some magical places you may have never seen before. By creating the focal shift from near to far, we are strengthening the muscle in our eyes, often avoiding the need for glasses. This also interplay's with our nervous system and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, rest and digest mode.
WHAT: A Bug’s life
HOW: Go outdoors and find an insect. This could be an ant, bee or spider. Watch and observe its movements for 2 mins. How is moving? Is it slow? Or maybe buzzing from flower to flower collecting pollen. Without judgment, just watch.
WHY: This simple exercise teaches us to slow down and appreciate the small things in life we often rush past. Cultivating mindfulness and gratitude to calm body and mind.
These simple techniques when carried out in a green space will calm a racing mind, improve your mindset and focus. When we are stress out, we often watch TV or scroll through Instagram or Facebook on our phones. We are compounding the effect of the blue light, the electromagnetic signals and our bodies are in a state of contact alert.
Integrating simple techniques such as the above coupled with a walk in nature, we will notice the difference and the echoing effects throughout our lives when practices regularly.
If you’re keen to learn more about Mindfulness concepts, the role of Nutrition to support mental well-being and the benefits of nature immersion, connect with me on a holistic hikes.
Memberships are now available and 5 hike passes to save money in nature!