Mindfulness, Wellbeing, Positive mental health, Children & Adolescents

05 June, 2022

How nature can help us find mindfulness

Spending time in nature can help us to feel grounded and connected with the world around us.

Why not take a few minutes from your day for a short mindfulness meditation in nature to calm your mind and enjoy some relaxation?

It’s very natural for us to have worries, no matter what age we are. We can have different things on our mind from time to time - whether that's feeling pressure in school, anger after an argument, or sadness about something that has gotten you down.

In these moments, it can be helpful to come out into nature. While hiking up a mountain or walking through a forest can be lovely experiences, you can take a few moments to connect with nature whenever you need, no matter where you are, even in the middle of a city. All you need is somewhere with a little bit of a grass, a bit of wind, or even just a breath of fresh air. These elements of nature can help you to get in touch with what's going on around you, rather than only what's happening within you.

Jane Negrych from The Sanctuary joins us here in Walk in My Shoes to explore how practicing mindfulness in nature can be good for our wellbeing. 

She explains how meditating in nature is an opportunity to step away from our worries for a few minutes. It allows us to connect with ourselves and with the natural world, and to know how we can use nature and the outdoors as a place where we can come to rest for a while.

Jane takes us through a short mindfulness practice, starting by helping us to find and feel our breath. She notes how, with every breath we take, we're bringing oxygen into our bodies, and that oxygen is released from the grass, trees and flowers around us in nature. As we breathe out, we release carbon dioxide, which all those parts of nature breathe in - so we and nature are all connected, all breathing together!

During the practice, Jane shows us how to be mindful of the different sensations around us in nature - whether sounds, smells, feelings - and how to be aware of being supported by the earth.

You can follow along with the practice below: it is suitable for everyone from primary school children and up.

We hope you enjoy it!

Get our free nature workbook

Get our free nature workbook

Minding Your Self, Minding Nature is our free nature workbook for young people. It explores how young people can connect with nature, and how there are links between nature and our mental health. As well as sharing information on how being in the natural world can support positive mental health, the workbook gives ideas for nature-based activities, offers a nature wellbeing plan, and looks at how being more connected with nature can make us more likely to take positive climate action too. We put it together especially with a number of environmental and biodiversity organisations, including BirdWatch Ireland, Biodiversity in Schools and Leave No Trace Ireland.

You can download and use the workbook below!

Get our nature workbook

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A week in a mental health service on TY work experience