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Mindfulness in the environment


Practicing mindfulness in the environment is the latest post in my A to Z of meditation and mindfulness. In all honesty, I was at a loss for choosing something beginning with ‘e’. In this post, I’m going to discuss ways that you can practice mindfulness outside in our wonderful environment.

To begin with though, I have a question. Why is it important to practice meditation and mindfulness and what is the difference?

Practice mindfulness in the environment
Being mindful of the environment

In the UK alone, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that 914,000 workers were suffering from stress, depression, or anxiety. It’s important to bear in mind that this figure is for one year and this is only what has been reported by UK work places. This figure is also rising.

Key figures for Great Britain (2021/22)
1.8 million working people suffering from a work-related illness, of which
914,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety


Have you ever heard the saying, ‘stress is a killer?

Well, when we’re continually stressed our health will suffer. We may begin to experience poor physical health such as heart disease, or worse. Our mental health can also suffer with the onset of anxiety and depression if stress isn’t managed.

Hopefully you will start to pay more attention to your body and de-stress?

We can start with the need to love and nurture ourselves as much as we love and nurture others. 

I used to chastise myself in the most cruelest of ways. There are things that I would say to myself that I wouldn’t dream of saying to anyone else, as I know it would really upset them. I’m a lot better these days thanks to my practice of mindfulness and meditation.

What’s the difference between meditation and mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to, and being in the present moment. It’s also a highly recommended treatment for people suffering with stress, anxiety and depression.

Benefits apart from the most important being good health and well-being, show an increase in creativity. I can personally claim this benefit is true. I’ve restarted my gemstone bracelet design service,

I’m also practicing Reiki and I’ve created Gemstone and Tarot to record my adventure and help others. Other benefits include increased memory function and a zest for life feeling.

Headspace is a great application to get you started on your mindfulness, and meditation journey.

Meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on something for a period of time such as your breath or an object. Regular practice can bring clarity and peace to your inner mind and you don’t need to be religious to practice it.

Meditating on a regular basis will allow you to become more positive about life and you will see the true nature of things. It’s an excellent form of stress relief and it provides time for YOU, and you alone.  Remember what I was saying about loving yourself?

When meditating, the key to it is to practice regularly and over time it will become a lot easier. 

In the beginning, it’s far too easy to become distracted by your thoughts. If you do find yourself distracted, come gently back to your breathing and don’t chastise or judge yourself. Show yourself compassion just like you would to other people. Furthermore, if you notice that you have become distracted, meditation IS WORKING!

Mindfulness and our senses in the environment

Begin by creating yourself a Mindfulness and Meditation Journal. In it, you can record your experiences and add photographs or drawings on a regular basis. It could be a scrap book or a nice looking pad. You could even post and share about your experiences on Facebook. 

When you next go out, pause and take note of what is happening around you, and use ALL of your senses. Go all out to go beyond what you normally see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. I’ve included some examples that are not the norm to get you started. See how much you actually experience when practicing mindfulness in the environment.

  • What can you see that you don’t normally take any notice of?
  • Are there any unusual smells that you like or dislike?
  • What does the atmosphere feel like around you, is it positive and if so, what makes it positive?
  • What can you hear in the far distance?
  • What can you taste?  This one is always difficult, but remember to go beyond the norm. What does that coffee actually taste of and how does it feel on your tongue?

Practicing mindfulness in the environment

Below you will find my account of when I sat down on a bench alone and paid attention using my senses. Please try this out and I’ve included the steps I took prior to practicing mindfulness in the environment. 

  • Find somewhere nice to sit
  • Close your eyes
  • Begin with a deep breath in and feel your stomach rise, and then breathe out slowly
  • Repeat at least four times before allowing your breathing to steady itself.  You need to feel totally relaxed, calm and at peace.  If you’re tense, on each breath out, imagine your tension slowly leaving your body. If it’s in your shoulders, let them drop slowly in time with each slow breath out
  • Open your eyes and focus on what you normally wouldn’t look for. For example, it could be the sunlight filtering through the trees and you notice how alive, and vibrant those leaves look
  • You may hear a sound, go with it and allow your mind to focus on what’s making that sound. I could hear periods of rustling coming from the ground. Every now and again it would stop, and then restart. It was a blackbird rustling through the leaves hunting worms
  • I could feel the sun trying to warm up my face as there was a chill in the air
  • I could smell something woody and it was the leaves on the ground that were damp, and beginning to decompose
  • I could taste a hint of mint coming from my chewing gum. At that moment I realised I’d had enough and that it was time to throw it away, in a bin of course!

Tree Grounding Meditation

As you may have already gathered, I’m constantly learning and working with my chakras. I know the importance of being grounded with Mother Nature. Being grounded does make you feel alive with a passion for life. It can also provide assistance with balancing your emotions.

Holistic therapies such as Reiki or crystal healing can assist with balancing the flow of energy through your chakra’s. The meditation below will help you do this.

Root chakra foundation
Root chakra foundation
  • Find somewhere nice to sit or lie down, somewhere that you won’t be distracted. Turn off your phone and if you want nice calming music, play it quietly in the background
  • Close your eyes
  • Begin with a deep breath in and feel your stomach rise, and then breathe out slowly
    Repeat at least four times before allowing your breathing to steady itself. You need to feel totally relaxed, calm and at peace. If you’re tense, on each breath out, imagine your tension slowly leaving your body
  • Visualise a strong and beautiful tree, standing proud and magnificent. Picture the sun light filtering through its branches and how the sun provides warmth, creativity, and life
  • Feel the power of the tree making your feel proud and magnificent
  • Visualise the tree roots growing from the soles of your feet and breaking the surface of the ground beneath you
  • With each breath out, visualise those roots sinking further down into the Earth, further down until they reach the core
  • Visualise a magical glow of universal energy that provides the spark of life, the spark of creativity, and power. With each breath in, it slowly rises upwards
  • It reaches your feet and climbs your legs providing a red hazy glimmer making you feel strong and secure. The energy continues upwards
  • It reaches your hips and the red turns to a vibrant orange. You feel that passion and creative energy growing
  • As this energy continues to flow up, it reaches your stomach and turns yellow filling you with joy, and happiness
  • The energy turns green as it continues its journey up through your heart and down your arms to your hands. Love fills the air
  • The energy turns a vibrant blue as it reaches your throat and you feel peaceful, and harmonious. It continues upwards, turning a vibrant indigo when reaching your brow. Now you feel connected with Mother Nature and the cosmic flow of the universe
  • The energy now travels up through the top of your crown and enshrouds all of your body in a brilliant ultra violet light. It’s here that you stay a while reflecting on how you feel. Take time out to feel at one with yourself.  Spend as long as you feel here, bathing in this beautiful light
  • When you feel it’s time to leave, return to your crown and travel through each of those vibrant colours. First indigo at your brow, blue, green, going down and turning yellow when reaching your stomach. Now imagine a beautiful orange at the bottom of your stomach and red down to your feet
  • Continue your visualisation down to the ends of your roots feeding off the magical glow of energy at the core of the Earth
  • It’s now time for the roots to leave the core as you know you have replenished the energy you need. Visualise them slowly returning upwards to your feet
  • When you’re ready, open your eyes and relax

Please note that I don’t have any qualifications to manage your mental health and I can only offer you general advice from my own experiences. Please consult your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health as they will get you the help you need.

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