This month, as we dive fully into the Spring season, we’re excited to share a series of mindful nature-based therapeutic experiences with you. In this series, you’ll learn how to implement mindfulness in a variety of ways, as a key component to support your overall holistic wellness. 

This month, we welcomed a group of 50 members of the military community for a private event, focused on nature based therapeutic experiences, including gardening, mindfulness, and meditation. We continue to offer private wellness events for non-profits, small businesses, corporations, and more.

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. Mindfulness is a quality that every human being already possesses, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.

  • Mindfulness – The practice of noticing– your environment, thoughts, body sensations, and feelings in the here and now. Through building awareness and simply noticing what is happening internally, it creates an emotional change that allows for a more objective pause before automatic responses. Mindfulness can be used to improve the health of thought patterns, emotional experiencing and beliefs.
  • Mindful Breathing –  Mindfulness is also the practice of noticing the breath. Specific types of breathing can activate the relaxation response which can counteract the harmful effects of stress, regulate the nervous system and improve heart rate variability and vagal tone.
  • Mindful Movement – Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, nature walks and gardening are all examples of self regulating mindful movement that access the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and improve our window of tolerance.

Nature Based Therapy is a form of mindfulness involving the natural settings of gardens, forests and natural habitats.

  • Therapeutic Horticulture – Mental health programs conducted in a garden setting have been shown to decrease depression and anxiety, increase attention and self-esteem, reduce stress, improve sleep and provide a feeling of connectedness to nature and enjoyment of the outdoors. 
  • Forest Bathing and forest therapy (or shinrin-yoku) broadly means taking in, in all of one’s senses, the forest atmosphere. Not simply a walk in the woods, it is the conscious and contemplative practice of being immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. It was developed in Japan during the 1980s, and in 1982 Japan made this form of mobile meditation under the canopy of living forests a part of its national health program. Researchers, primarily in Japan and South Korea, have established a growing body of scientific literature on the diverse health benefits.

Gardening offers a regular connection to the natural habitat within your own yard and encourages a daily practice of nurturing, that is supportive to mindful living.

The reward of a harvest to feed your family is an added benefit of growing vegetables, supporting improved nutritional health and wellbeing.

Stay tuned for our next post on types of gardens!

Learn more about corporate wellness opportunities HERE.