The Benefits of Meditating in Nature

Learning how to meditate and spending time in nature may be one of the most important things you do in life. Research shows it is good for your health. Meditation when done correctly and consistently will dramatically change your life. It will increase the grey matter in your brain, may slow down aging, and helps to reduce anxiety and stress. Some have even suggested it will boost your IQ level. I highly recommend learning how to meditate and practice it daily.

For many people, learning how to meditate helps create a whole and fulfilling life. Spirituality is often expressed as feeling “connected” to something larger than yourself. When life gets difficult or challenging, you may turn to your religious or spiritual faith, another option would be to spend time in nature and practice meditation. Make time to unplug yourself from the digital world and relax. Listen to the birds sing, hug a tree, and meditate with plants. Trees and plants are more intelligent than we give them credit for. Recent studies have proven trees communicate with each other and help one another survive. We all need to connect more with nature and learn to live cooperatively with the natural world.

The Japanese practice forest bathing, called shinrin-yoku as a way to reduce stress and improve overall wellness. It is even prescribed by doctors, to take a relaxing walk in the forest. Studies have proven, that after practicing just fifteen minutes of forest bathing a drop in blood pressure, reduction in anger, anxiety and depression can occur. It may help you sleep better and help improve mental clarity.

When practicing meditation or forest bathing, be sure to be fully present. Leave cell phones and cameras behind. Breathe deeply and take in all that is around you. Let your mind relax and release any thoughts, cares or concerns you may have. If possible let your feet experience the ground below you barefoot. This will add to your experience and provides additional health benefits called “grounding.” If you are with another person be sure not to talk during your meditation time to have the fullest experience possible.

When spending time in nature take in all of the sights and sounds around you. Stop and observe a leaf or flower, listen to the birds, or watch the animals. When doing simple things like this we realize we can be a part of nature. Something more of us need to get back to.

If you are not able to get out in nature, look out a window at a natural setting or focus on a photo or picture of nature to practice your meditation. You can also visualize something like this, ocean waves at the beach, butterflies or hummingbirds flitting through the air, or a beautiful mountain view.  This will help you relax and provide many of the benefits. There are many meditation videos on youtube that offer natural settings and instruction to get you started if you do not know how. The important step is to get started and practice on a regular basis for maximum results. Wishing you peace and relaxation on your meditation journey.

Let me know your results or any other tips or experiences relating to meditating you would like to share.