Incorporating mindfulness into everyday outdoor activities will help you de-stress and enjoy life more. Learning how to practice mindfulness outdoors can be so fun and simple.
So how do you begin? First you start living in the here and now. In other words, being mindful simply means that you are focusing on the present moment.
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a term used for being fully present. To be mindful means you are focusing on the here and now, instead of worrying about the past or future. In other words, mindfulness is learning how to engage in the present moment.
It sounds easy right? Well, the truth is that for many of us, we are rarely focusing on the here and now. We may physically be present, but our minds are either thinking about all we need to be doing next or what we should have done or said. Being mindful, is choosing to tune out those thoughts and instead being completely grounded and focused on the task at hand.
How Can I Practice Mindfulness Outdoors
#1: Take a Mindful Walk
One way you can practice mindfulness outdoors is to take a quiet, mindful walk. As you begin your walk, focus your attention solely on the walk and being outdoors. Take a deep breath and notice what you smell. Maybe you simply smell fresh air, or the scent of a blooming flower and if you are walking in a city, maybe you can smell food from nearby restaurants. No matter what you smell, take a moment to acknowledge your sense of smell with a deep breath. Second, with your next breath take note of something you can see. Focus on that object and take a mindful breath.
As you take your next mindful breath, close your eyes and focus your attention on something you can hear. Let all of your attention go to the sound you hear and take another mindful breath. As you continue your walk take note of being in the present moment with your breaths. You are not thinking about all the things you need to do or looking on your phone. Instead you are living in the PRESENT moment by only thinking about what you can hear, see and smell on your mindful walk.
If you are walking with your kids, talk about what you hear, smell and see as you walk together. This will help teach your children about being mindful outdoors. The incredible thing about children, is that they are naturals at being mindful. We are just there to help guide them in understanding how being mindful can help them calm down when they are worried or nervous.
How Can I be Mindful in Nature
#2: Go on a Mindful Scavenger Hunt
A fun activity that teaches children how to be mindful in nature, while outdoors, is to go on a mindful scavenger hunt. This is an activity that you have probably played before, either with your children or as a child yourself, but maybe did not realize that this is a perfect way to teach your kids how to be mindful. When you really think about it, scavenger hunts are all about focusing your attention on finding objects and therefore being fully present in the here and now.
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Mindfulness Activity for Adults and Kids
#3: Practice Mindful Gardening
Mindful gardening is another way to incorporate mindfulness into an activity you already do outdoors. To begin, when you are planting or weeding in your garden, notice how the soil and plants feel. Then take a mindful breath and only think about what you can feel through your sense of touch. Second begin to notice all of the smells around you. Take another mindful breath as you focus on all of these outdoor scents.
One trick I always use to bring myself back to the present moment is to focus on my 5 senses. For example, as you begin to notice objects you see, take a mindful breath. Then as you focus in on sounds you can hear, take another breath. Continue to take mindful breaths as you engage all of your senses. I promise you will begin to feel calmer and more grounded.
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