Simple but Powerful Nature Practice

 

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to do an outdoor workshop on “nature and health” with a wonderful group of 7th grade girls.

 

When we started I asked them what they thought the connection between nature and health was. A few of the girls answered “to get a break from the blue light of electronics” and “to get some fresh air.” These are excellent answers and I hoped that our experience together would give them many more answers.

 

During our time together we played a few fun nature games. The girls were very engaged with all of the activities. I loved witnessing their creativity especially when they worked on a nature art project.

 

One of my favorite moments with the girls was listening to their reflections on a super simple sound activity we did together. We sat in a circle on the ground and closed our eyes. We focused on the sounds around us. For each sound we heard, we raised one finger.

 

When we opened our eyes I asked the girls what they had heard. They shared how they heard several different birds singing, the sound of the breeze, cars going by, and the sound of their own breathing. They said they noticed so many more sounds by closing their eyes and really listening to the sounds around them.

 

We also discussed how the activity made them feel. They answered “relaxed”, “calm”, and “peaceful.” We talked about how doing a simple activity like this can really help when you need a break from homework, studying, or other things you might find stressful. They all agreed that doing this simple activity would be really helpful.

 

When we reflected again on how nature helps with health, the girls had more answers. They again shared that nature helps them feel more relaxed, more creative, peaceful and present in the moment. I loved watching the girls slow down and really soak in the benefits of nature.

 

No matter what your age, nature is a powerful teacher. In our super busy, fast, technology filled world we could all benefit from slowing down and reconnecting to nature for our health and wellbeing.

 

You don’t have to go deep in the woods to do this. In fact, did all of these activities in the back yard of a church. All you need is to step outside your house or office and find a little bit of green space. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

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