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Building a connection with nature for better mental health

mental health nature Dec 11, 2020
 

There is more and more evidence coming out that nature has a really positive impact on people's wellbeing and their mental health. For many people though, nature is not an important part of their lives.

In a study done by the National Trust and Derby University they found that only 19% of children regularly notice wildlife, 57% of adults rarely or never watched the sunrise in the last year and only 27% of people regularly watched the clouds.

All of these activities are completely free and have been shown to make us feel good so the question is, how can we improve our relationship and connectedness to nature?

Noticing nature

There are a few simple ways that you can simply notice nature more often in your everyday life. This simple awareness can be built into whatever time suits your lifestyle from noticing nature before you get into your car in the morning to organising family walks.

  • Watching the wildlife, the easiest is often noticing the birds
  • Listening to bird song
  • Smelling...
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How mindfulness in nature can help with mental health

 

One of the key things I have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lock downs and restrictions is how much enjoying nature has been a huge part of helping my own mental health.

Enjoying nature for me comes in many different ways including dog walking, horse riding and running and can often be a very welcome distraction when day to day life gets difficult or overwhelming.

One of the things I love about where I live at the moment is that I am very close to different types of nature and can enjoy lakes, woods, plains and farmlands.

 

Nature and mental health

Studies have shown that exposure to nature can reduce negative emotions, stress, anxiety and depression (see link at the end for research paper). Studies have also found that whilst being in nature is great, paying attention to the nature around you is even better for mental health.

 

So why is mindfulness helpful?

Mindfulness was incorporated into psychological interventions by Kabat-Zinn in 1990 and can be...

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Discover which common negative thinking patterns you have.

The way we think has a huge impact on our mental health. If you are looking to overcome your anxiety or just improve your mental health then first you need to know what thoughts are making things worse.

This download gives you a list of the most common ways we think negatively. All you need to do is see which ones you do most.

Also, keep an eye on your emails! I will be sending you a really useful video that goes with this exercise.