Nature; Spring clean your Senses

Nature; Spring clean your Senses

Nature is accessible for everyone, whether it is a deep emersion from days wandering and wild camping in isolatated places to simply having a walk on your own, with a friend or your dog, to sitting quitely in your garden or a park, watching and listening, to simply opening your window to hear the bird song.

Nature is present all around us all the time. Even if you live in a city you can still look up and see the sky, notice an ant on the pavement, see the tenacious plant growing from the crack in a wall. It is never far away, and when we spend time in nature something positive happens to our body, mind and heart.

It has been proven by scientific research that being in nature reduces stress levels and enhances our feeling of well-being. Most of us can think of a time when we have felt some stress, discomfort, unsettled feelings and gone for a walk, sat in a natural place and something happens. Something magic happens by simply being in nature

Mental health problems are a growing public health concern. They can start at a really early age with problems such as anxiety, be prevalent throughout all the age groups and include older people too.

Being in nature has a wonderful way of bringing ourselves into a place of balance and inner calm. When we feel stressed, anxious and overwhelmed with life the sympathetic nervous system activates our ‘fight, flight, freeze’ response which increases cortisol and inflammation in the body and also creates unsettled and often delusional thoughts. When we are feeling calm, present and relaxed our parasympathetic nervous system is activated which releases our ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin.

Being in nature, opening our senses, listening to the birds and the bubbling stream, being quiet, attentive and watching how a squirrel moves, noticing the sunlight twinkle through the leaves, and feeling your feet on the earth, quietly breathing in a quiet place all have an incredibly calming effect on the body, mind and soul.

Nature really has powerful healing qualities, simply by being in nature can help with healing the body and calming the mind leading to a happier more positive state of being.

‘Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into trees’

– John Muir

Suzy Greenwood
Suzy Greenwood
Exercise

Find a quiet place to sit, lie or stand, ideally in nature, however if you are not able to get out just open the window. Feel and notice the places where your body makes contact with the surface underneath you. Take a moment to breathe a little more deeply and slowly for a few breaths. Then open up your hearing to become aware of the sounds you can hear around you, send your hearing awareness all around you like a huge bubble, noticing the loudest sound and then the quiestest sound. Notice the bird sounds, are their similar ones, like the birds calling to each other in response, are there different ones. See if you can just stay and hold this lightly in your awareness for at least 10 minutes, 20 ideally, just gently acknowledging wheat you hear without needing to label anything just simply listening, hearing, appreciating and being.

A Timbered Choir (excerpt)

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet around me
like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places where I left them
asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings and I hear its song.
Than what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings and I hear its song.

By: Wendell Berry

A Timbered Choir (excerpt)

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet around me
like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places where I left them
asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings and I hear its song.
Than what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings and I hear its song.

By: Wendell Berry

A Timbered Choir (excerpt)

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet around me
like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places where I left them
asleep like cattle.
Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings and I hear its song.
Than what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings and I hear its song.

By: Wendell Berry