Climbing Mountains and Overcoming AddictionJune 13, 2019
How Spending Time in Nature Makes Us More CreativeJune 17, 2019
When we live our lives primarily indoors, our senses can become dull and out of touch. Why is this a problem? Seeing, tasting, touching, smelling, and feeling are the ways in which we interact with the world around us and so they become very important in keeping us present in our lives, making us feel connected to the world, and increasing feelings of alertness. In short: Our senses make us feel alive. When you connect with nature using your senses, your mood lifts and physical discomfort begins to dissipate. Feelings of dullness are replaced by vibrancy and just like that, our senses are activated. Using nature’s myriad sounds, smells, and sights is an easy way to destress and get present in your life. The philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote that “All knowledge begins with the senses.” Here is a mindfulness exercise to increase knowledge of yourself and the world through enlivening the senses. You simply need a few minutes and any kind of natural setting, including the beach, forrest, field, or a small wooded area near your home.
- Begin to walk slowly through nature, focusing on the sounds of your breath and the rhythm of your steps. It’s best to walk barefoot to get your sense of touch fully activated.
- Now, notice all of the sights and the details of your surroundings. Gaze at the natural world without bringing judgement or labels. If you catch your mind drifting away, simply bring it back to the sights of nature and the feel of the earth beneath your feet.
- What are you hearing? Birds? Silence? Rustling of the trees? Be present with the sounds.
- Allow your mind to soften and take a deep inhale, activating your sense of smell. Try not to give label what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.
- Allow your mouth to open and notice what tastes nature brings in.
- Be present while you walk and continue to observe the ways in which your senses take in the natural world. When you’re finished, note how you feel and try to carry that sense of presentness and sensory activation with you throughout the day.
RedCliff Ascent is a therapeutic wilderness program, nestled between two mountain ranges in the high desert of Enterprise, UT. We focus on adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with various challenges from anxiety and depression, to school abandonment and the need to reconnect with their family. With over 25 years of experience, RedCliff uses a relational model and narrative therapy to drive an outcome and an evidence-based approach. RedCliff Recovery offers an experience like no other through a proven, 12-step, adventure-based wilderness program. For more information, call us today: 801-921-8488