With summer heating up and bright and sunny weather upon us, there’s no better time than now to head out and enjoy the outdoors. Connecting with nature can be a great way to tap into your inner peace, quieten your mind, and reconnect with yourself when you feel the need to stay grounded. Here are some of our favorite solo ways to connect with the outdoors.
Going for walks in green corridors, versus urban environments can be associated with lower stress levels, so a basic first step would be to go for a walk outdoors. If you’re able to, head to a big park with plenty of greenery and space so you’ll be able to spend some time alone with your thoughts. If you’re feeling more adventurous, find a nice hike somewhere nearby where you can escape to a high vantage point and get a 360o view of nature’s beauty.
Outdoor meditation can also be a great way to quieten your mind. If you choose the park, listen to the birds and animals you hear, the wind blowing through the trees, and any other sounds you may come across as you breathe in the fresh air. If you’re lucky enough to live close to the beach, the sound of the ocean can be very soothing and grounding as well, especially if there’s a swell and you can hear the rhythmic waves touching the shore.
Using all of your senses as you explore the natural environment is likely to have a big impact on your mood and calmness as you take in the smells around you and look around at the flora and fauna. This is particularly useful if you’re finding yourself feeling moody and closed off, and unwilling to help others. One study found, through a series of experiments, that subjects who were exposed to ‘beautiful’ images of nature, were found to be more generous and considerate of others than those who were exposed to the images perceived to be less beautiful.
Whether you’re running, hiking, swimming, or meditating, spend some time outdoors this summer to lift your mental spirits and reconnect with the nature around you.