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  • Writer's pictureHelen

The Importance of Nature




I recently went on a silent retreat for a day and part of the retreat was walking in nature. The weather was in part sunny and cloudy with some wind. I was surrounded by trees and could hear the swaying of the branches and swish of the leaves. Usually I wouldn’t have given this a second thought but the power of those large trees and of the weather, when I was silent, really impacted me.

Most people, including myself, are so busy in their everyday lives that the world is going on around us and we don’t have the time or energy to just stop and listen.

I felt a sense of peace, of something bigger than all of us and it just made me breathe.

A recent study shows that being out in nature is great for better wellbeing. Researchers from the University of Exeter looked at the health and lifestyles of around 20,000 people. It showed that two hours out in nature, which can be split over the week, can have a marked effect on how we feel. This has been adopted by the Japanese, who call it shrinrin-yoku or forest bathing.

The day after the retreat I had loads to do but made sure I took time to sit in my garden and really enjoy what was going on around me. This included listening to the birds singing, smelling beautiful jasmine flowers, really enjoying the bright colour of roses. I suppose it is really mindfulness, being mindful of what is going on in the moment. Why not try and incorporate nature into your life a bit more each week and start to not only see, but feel the benefits.



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