The benefits of getting out into nature to enhance the effectiveness of meditation
Meditation is good for us. We all know this, and science has just corroborated it in a study recently published in the Biological Psychiatry Journal. In the study, scientists have finally managed to prove that mindfulness meditation results in positive psychological changes. One of the key findings of the study is that practicing mindfulness meditation can significantly reduce your stress levels.
However, most people struggle to find time out from their stressful days to relax and just breathe. You are busy from the moment you wake up to the time you go back to bed. You have a schedule to follow and a hundred different things to deal with in the course of any given day. Thankfully, according to the study referenced above, even those who meditate for a short time can gain all the benefits of mindfulness meditation. You can get an even better meditation experience by getting out into nature.
Think of the last time you spent time outdoors in natural surroundings. Do you remember how calm and relaxed you felt? Now think about the additional boost you can get by combining meditation practices, yoga and nature. Meditating outside in a natural setting, tuning in to thexq sounds, smells, sights and touch of nature can help you relax in a way you’ve never imagined before. You get to focus on your breathing, concentrate on the beauty of nature all around you and just delight in being in the moment.
You might be wondering what benefits you can derive from meditating in an all-natural outdoor environment. Here are some of them:
• Stress reduction.
The study published in the Biological Psychiatry Journal found that subjects who practiced true mindfulness meditation had a significant reduction in Interleukin-6, a biomarker that is linked to unhealthy inflammation in the body. This biomarker is normally found in high levels among stressed individuals. This means that meditation can help to reduce your stress levels and allow you to get on a more even keel.
• Increased well-being.
Being out in nature has been found to have a relaxing effect on people. The fresh-air, peace and silence seduces you into a state of well-being, allowing you to let go of the stresses of modern life, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
• A sharper mind.
Meditating out in natural surroundings helps you to train your mind to only focus on the moment. Everything else falls away as you concentrate on breathing and experiencing nature. You can clear your mind and train yourself to only live in the now. Eventually your attention span improves as your mind becomes sharper.
• Increase in positive energy.
The simple act of spending time outdoors increases positive energy in your body. Combine this with yoga or other meditation practices and you are sure to experience reduced anxiety, depression and aggression.
How to Go About It
As people become increasingly aware of the positive benefits of meditating in natural surroundings, many are opting to go on meditation retreats, giving rise to a new form of tourism. Thanks to this trend, places such as the Mohonk Mountain House are increasing in popularity. Mohonk House is a historic Victorian castle resort situated amidst beautiful surroundings in New York’s Hudson Valley. This is one of the places that specializes in offering dedicated wellness and mindfulness retreats to those seeking a temporary escape from their busy and hectic city lives.
However, you don’t have to travel far to meditate among nature. If you live in a busy city, you can find a park or garden to meditate in. Alternatively, you can create your own special meditation alcove in your backyard or balcony since you only need a small, quiet space with outdoor access. Turn this into a fun, interesting DIY project by furnishing your outdoor space with some beautiful plants, rocks, earth, small fountain or anything that helps you connect with nature. Take care not to create any distractions by going overboard with your project. Should you decide to meditate in a local park or garden, select a quiet corner with few distractions to help you concentrate.
We are all natural beings although the strains of modern wedding have made us forget this simple fact. Choose to take your meditation to the next level by getting out into a natural setting. Take a few minutes from your busy routine, head out to your nearest park and meditate while surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. You will be surprised by how revitalized and rejuvenated you’ll feel after a few minutes. Most of all, your body and mind will thank you.