Early mornings, hot drinks, nature walks and time in creation. Those things might sound simple enough but they can still jumpstart a heart, usher in a smile and lead to beautiful surprises along the way. In today’s post, we’re walking through a forest in another country.
Did you know that the quality of the air in a forest can help build the immune system? From the enhanced and purified quality of the oxygen we’re breathing in while walking, to the distinct visuals and aromas in the woods, it’s like a complete calibration – a refreshing reset. Our eyes get a rest from screen time and olfactory systems take in fragrances that uplift our mood and relieve any residue stress.
Gathering flowers and building your own bouquet isn’t exactly on everyone’s Top 10 things to do in life, but it can be fun and therapeutic – plus, whatever you find can add sweet splashes of colour to the space you’re in.
When last did you enjoy some fresh air and go for a long stroll somewhere new and leafy green? This isn’t a quiz…more like an invitation to get proactive about your health and state of mind (especially in these times.)
Build your resistance and boost your resourcefulness
Before we get to the pics, come let’s walk through a few prompts to honestly reflect on (I’m gonna do them same-time too.) Alright, here goes:
- What’s generally your state of mind when you wake up (this week/month/season)?
- What’s the pace and nature of your thoughts when you’re rushed?
- What activities make you feel pressed or tense, and when are you most vibrant yet relaxed?
- Been irritable or losing focus lately, and not sure why?
- When last did you take a refreshing deep breath?
- Could you do with some exercise that doesn’t feel exhausting but is more on the revitalising side?
A nature walk or flower-finding adventure isn’t a cure for anything, but the time it takes to go on one (or a few) can quiet the mind and reveal the fruit of our most inner thoughts, while giving the body a workout, skin a fresh air treatment and mind some essential reflection time.
It’s also an opportunity to upgrade your resourcefulness when it comes to navigating nature in case of any earthly emergencies. The flowers are a bonus for the life skills test a long walk in the forest is.
What food can you find?
What materials are around?
Which birds are those? How’s your posture and balance when not walking on pavement? What’s your water intake been like recently? Any springs, rivers or lakes nearby?
If the phone battery konks out and satnav doesn’t kick in, how vigilant are you with recognizing landmarks amidst a bazillion trees? What’s your patience threshold really like when there’s not a charger in sight? We’d probably never know if we didn’t audition – discipline our sensory muscles and tune in to the frequencies mankind once understood before tech tried to take over.
If an atmosphere of quiet is new for you, a long stroll or hike through the forest can be a few things: a challenge, relief, a beautiful life-shifting learning experience or a combo of two or more of those. Actually, it’s not that it’s quiet completely ’cause birdsongs, dancing tree leaves and the occasional frolicking squirrel, passing deer, green monkey or whatever kind of wildlife lives wherever you are can combine to make an ambient playlist that’s a drastic change from pings, rings and incoming messages.
In today’s world, where digital notifications and media machines are hollering constantly demanding our attention, it’s healthy to unplug from that frequency to refresh and renew your mind without digital interference and mass marketing messaging.
We can become antsy when first detached from the devices of the day, so it can be healthy to examine any current tendencies and test our gratitude level when doing what might seem like the most basic thing.
When we’re moving at full speed and life around us is at full volume, we can keep stacking up pressing thoughts and stale memories on the back burner of our minds…but when those distractions aren’t given the front seat and when deep breaths and several steps in a quiet space are the order of the day…it reveals whatever’s tucked away inside…whether that’s joy that was waiting to overflow, pain that was tucked away, restlessness that was stirring under the surface or deep breaths that were waiting to be expressed.
My wise and handsome king just shared something so insightful ~ even having an increased oxygen intake from a forest walk must have a thousand benefits like ripples influencing the course of your life after the fact. From a better breathing pattern and walking rhythm to our sense of heightened focus and appreciation of beautiful creation, the benefits are endless.
‘Nuff said…let’s get to those flowers. By the way, I have no clue what any of these are called or useful for (except the lavender) – but they are absolutely beautiful and if seeing them can inspire grateful breaths and light thoughts for you that’s sweet for me too.
You don’t need a forest to enjoy a nature walk or fresh flowers to have a bright day, but if you happen to enjoy one or both of them, I think you’ll find that there’s a hidden smile, welcome deep breaths and thoughts that use some pruning stirring somewhere right below the surface.
Love you, sis.
P.S: The flowers we walk or drive by everyday look like bouquets from above. They’re beautiful gifts for us to recognize and enjoy, and though flowers don’t last, the love they’re made with that’s also showered upon us daily does.
Be safe and aware of your surroundings when you go on your walk – maybe invite a friend, close family member or join a small group and enjoyyy.
FINDING FLOWERS ON A FOREST WALK | FRESH AIR INVITATION & LIFE SKILLS CONVERSATION was first published on itsjoywithin.com