Mindfulness Diaries: time in nature


Nidhi Thomas

In this weekly column, guest contributer Nidhi Thomas writes about bringing mindfulness into everyday life.

Nidhi Thomas, Guest Contributor

Throughout human history, people have put an emphasis on the importance of spending time in nature. Afterall, Henry David Thoreau did say that “an early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” However, though many people accept the notion that time spent in nature is good for one’s well being, not everyone feels strongly about it or practices it in their daily life. Truly connecting yourself to nature is a very rewarding thing- as true nature lovers like Thoreau realized. Unfortunately, not many people know how to do it. But worry no more, in this first edition of the Mindfulness Diaries, I will teach you how. 

The first thing to keep in mind is that there is no specific process. The stuff I’m going to talk about is open for interpretation, and each person will have a unique way of going about things. 

Typically, the first thing I like to do when I go out for a walk or spend time in nature is take a look at my surroundings. You should ask yourself, ‘what do I notice?’ Remember to breathe it all in, notice the little things. Actually look at that little tree with pink flowers, or at the one mailbox that has its bricks painted. Appreciate their uniqueness. 

Once you’ve done that, you can try interacting with your surroundings. Maybe pick some flowers, sit under a tree. As you do these things, let your thoughts flow freely and allow yourself to be in the moment. Use the time you spend in nature as an opportunity to unwind and forget about your troubles. 

Once you’ve established a routine and start doing these things regularly, you might find yourself wanting to take it up a notch- wanting to make the process more rewarding. If you start to feel this way, a good way to enhance your nature experience is to take up nature journaling. 

What do I mean by nature journaling? Well, it’s a pretty vague term, but in essence, it’s like normal journaling with a naturistic aspect. Now, there are a few different ways you can practice this art.

If you’re an artistic person, a good way to practice this art could be drawing different plants you see outside and writing little facts about them. Or, if you just like journaling in general, maybe you could write about the different experiences you have in nature and your feelings about them. If you don’t like either of those, another thing you could do is stray away from journaling a little bit and write poetry. Trying any of the forms of nature journaling in general is a great way to enhance your nature experience by reflecting on your thoughts. 

If you adopt some of the above things in your daily life, you will find your time in nature to be much more meaningful and fulfilling than it previously might have been. You will feel the change in your life and see the idea of spending time in nature in a new light.