Nature is the perfect natural boost for our wellbeing and soul. When I immerse myself in the forest, or take a stroll along the beach it just instantly lifts my mood and spirits and I leave with a refreshed and peaceful feeling. Think about how you personally feel after spending quality time in the outdoors. Spending time outdoors and amongst nature has been proven to have alot of positive benefits for our general wellbeing and health so I wanted to share with you a few of my favourite soul-soothing outdoor activities that allows calmness to flow more freely and helps you to reconnect with nature whilst fully seeing it’s beauty.
Forest bathing which is also known as Shinrin-Yoku incorporates mindful techniques with the healing energy of the forest to create a wellbeing experience that leaves you feeling in awe, calm and refreshed. There have been studies done to show that forest bathing does reduce stress levels and reduced stress levels is fabulous for our mental wellbeing aswell as for areas in our physical health too. If you’re new to forest bathing I would highly recommend finding a forest bathing session/guide to begin with so you can grow in your understanding but once you’re comfortable then you can also do this by yourself.
Most typical forest bathing experiences last a few hours and usually include; a short guided walk through the forest with opportunities to open up all of your senses to the forest world around you, time to individually wander/sit at a spot and connect with the present moment and place and a ceremony ending with sharing tea made from local foraged plants. Think of forest bathing as not a long walk or a hike through the woods but instead a very gentle and relaxing experience where you don’t walk far but you gain a deep and meaningful appreciation for the forest.
Earthing which is also known as barefoot walking is a simple process of walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand to allow electrons to move freely between your body and the earth. Letting your feet feel the earth beneath you is an extremely grounding experience but we don’t usually spend much time going barefoot so we miss out on this. The earth is kind of like a big battery with subtle electric charge and our earth has an infinite supply of electrons which are continually charged by the sun, lightning and earth’s orbit. This electrical charge comes with a whole host of wellbeing/health benefits for us things like; regulating blood sugar levels and cortisol, easing pain, aiding sleep, reducing stress levels, enhancing our mood, reducing anxiety. When I go barefoot walking I notice a more grounded and centred sensation/feeling which brings more clarity and calm into my soul. Try earthing for about 30 to 40 minutes a day if you can, simply take your shoes off when on patches of grass, soil or sand and immerse yourself in that connection with the earth. You don’t have to do this in public if you feel uncomfortable, if your lucky enough to have a garden then this is a perfect private place to try earthing daily.
If you’ve ever spent time gazing up at the starry night sky you will know that it can leave you feeling overwhelmed with wonder and in awe. Not only can it leave you with these feelings but there has been some studies done that show exposure to the night sky can lower stress levels and increase positive moods. Stargazing is a beautiful experience and it can act as meditation too. Everyone has a different experience when stargazing but in general the vastness and beauty of the sky helps to connect us with something bigger than ourselves, which for me can really help to put my problems into perspective. It’s really incredible to think that we are all sharing this small green and blue planet which lives in an infinite vastness… when you view it from a perspective of the wider universe it really is fascinating.
Stargazing can help to focus your mind on our beautiful home which we call earth but, it can also remind us that we are literally made from stardust and so the whole universe actually ends up being our wider home too. Knowing this can really give you a wider connected feeling which feels incredible. Astronomy is fascinating but to stargaze you don’t really need alot of knowledge unless you are interested to know more. All you really need is a quiet spot, your eyes and a stunning clear night sky. Where I live it can be very hard to stargaze in my back garden as there is so much light pollution and I think that’s the same for many of us where we live so, for a true stargazing experiencing heading away from civilisation on a cloud free night is perfect.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my top three favourite soul-soothing nature activities that you can try out too. Of course these are just a few examples of fabulous outdoor activities that you can do, there are many other ones that may take your interest also/instead like; Foraging or Wild Swimming, so I would recommend doing your own research on outdoor activities to find the ones which really call to you the most. I would love to know in the comments if you have tried any of these activities out and what your own experience was from doing them? or perhaps you immerse yourself in other outdoor activities that are soul-soothing for you, again I would love for you to share them here with me and others who visit this blog.