It’s so easy in our digital age to become disconnected from other people and from the natural world itself. Life doesn’t take place inside the screen of your iPhone — it’s happening all around you. Outdoor experiences makes us feel good. Nature allows us to reflect, expand our imaginations, gain perspective, and contemplate our place in the larger world. When we become disconnected from nature, we lose perspective of what makes us truly human.
In order to fully benefit emotionally and spiritually from nature, you must focus on “feeling” the experience.
Commit to the Experience
Experiencing the outdoors is not running down a trail hooked to your ipod while “working out.” Like anything in life, we must be open and committed to embracing the experience. Remove external and internal distractions. Keep your senses open to the environment and what is happening around you. Clear your mind, relax, and focus on the natural world.
Embrace the Solitude
Many of us have difficulty with silence. Some of us feel it necessary to fill every second with noise and constant chatter. When you want to fully experience nature, it’s important to embrace the solitude. Simply step aside from the path or find a serene spot where you can meditate and have “quiet time” away from distractions.
Choose Your Spot
You don’t have to travel out-of-state for a true nature experience. Find a state park, community nature center, a trail or walkway, or a city park with habitat and trees. Choose the destination that calls to you and go where the path takes you!
Hiking and walking can sometimes shift our focus to “moving from Point A to Point B.” Quiet your mind and body by finding a place to sit down and reflect on your surroundings.
Use Your Senses
Enjoy your experience by taking everything in through sight, smell and touch. The trees, rock, grass, water, wind, sky, birds and animals. How do your surroundings affect you? What do you see? What emotions do you feel? What does it teach you about yourself? The answers may surprise you…