Every once in awhile, amidst the hustle and bustle, it is important to shut everything down and reconnect with nature.

We have long been aware that our five senses - sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch - is the epicentre for how we connect with each other. We are not alone, as nature conjures up a much bigger universe with the trees and flowers, birds, grasshoppers and beetles that surrounds us every day. This colourful kaleidoscope of ‘light and shadow, form and colour’, is constantly seeking - and failing at the same time - to catch our attention.

We most certainly see, hear and smell them daily. So why don't we reciprocate their allure? Jon Kabat-Zinn - an American professor emeritus of medicine and the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Centre for Mindfulness in Medicine - poses a simple yet provocative question.

Can we feel it? Can we know it? Can we be embraced by it? And when might that be? When? When? When? When? When?

We see what we want to see, not what is actually before our eyes. We look but we may not apprehend or comprehend. We may have to tune our seeing just as we tune an instrument, to increase its sensitivity, its range, its clarity, its empathy.

It is no wonder, with life becoming all so consuming and filling with limitless distractions from the digital world, we have tuned out of nature a long time ago. This state of mind did not happen overnight, nor over a generation for that matter. Our harried lifestyles, in pursuit of various dreams and putting food on the table, have now turned our innate connection with nature into discourse.

If you are an early riser, do you hear the birds chirping outside your windows in the morning? And are you conscientious of the rain when they fall on your skin. If your answer is no, it is not difficult to reconnect with Nature. And here's why you should start taking baby steps to do so.

3 benefits of connecting with Nature:

1. Promotes Self-Reflection

When we reflect about our own values and attitudes, this leads to self-awareness, which improves the understanding of our concept of self. We should find ways to always promote self-reflection, places to pause in Nature, and ways to prompt reflection.

2. Promotes Happiness

Experiencing Nature can impact our mood positively by removing us away from the grind of daily life and constant information bombardment that can lead to mental fatigue and burnout. A time out in Nature helps to restore the natural state of mind and this inner peace allows us to think and feel better.

 3. Promotes Health

Being in company of Nature has a profound impact on our health by helping us reduce anxiety, brooding and fear. Nature is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and stress hormone levels and this in turn, can help to improve one’s immune system.

In our next article, we will share with you some useful techniques that can help you connect with nature and be part of it again. In the meantime, read more about how you can practise mindfulness to prepare you for your reaffirmation with Mother Nature.

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#ConnectWithNature is proudly presented and prepared in collaboration with Shalini Damodaran, an established Mindfulness practitioner and teacher. For more information, please visit https://shalinidamodaran.com/.

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