Connecting to nature: how to tune in to the natural world

We have long looked to nature as a place for healing, well-being and personal growth. There is nature all around us, from the vibrant park in your neighbourhood, the birds in the trees and in the crashing waves of the ocean. But did you know that truly taking time to connect to nature has both physical and psychological health benefits? 

Research  shows that spending time in nature is shown to improve our mood and reduce stress, can elevate our consciousness, make us feel grounded to our roots and deepen our connection to the Earth - even if you’re only outside for 10 minutes. Here are some of our best tips on how to connect with nature and embrace the natural beauty of our planet!

Practice mindfulness outside
Start by finding a quiet spot outside where you feel safe and simply focus on your breath, flowing in and out. Connect to all of your senses — what do you hear, smell and see? Stand barefoot on the grass, and feel how it feels beneath your feet. Feel the wind, rain or sun on your skin, listen to the soft whistling of the trees and the sounds of birds. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and pay attention to your connection to the Earth. 

Soak up the sunlight
Sunlight produces Vitamin D, which is essential for our well-being and supports healthy bones, reduces inflammation, manages calcium levels and supports the immune system. Research  also shows that exposure to sunlight can also lower blood pressure levels. In a study  from South Korea, it was shown that sufficient sunlight and views of nature from the office window also increased job satisfaction and reduced stress for office workers. So get out there and soak up some rays, for at least 20 minutes a day, to boost your body, mind and soul! 

Exercise outdoors
Another great way to connect to nature is to work out outdoors. Research  shows that outdoor exercise is not only good for your general well-being, but also improves your sleep, boosts your mood and reduces stress. Try powerwalks, trail running, outdoor yoga, or doing some bodyweight exercises amongst nature. Explore your local hiking trails, or simply take a leisurely stroll without an agenda. Your body and mind will thank you!

Sync with the seasons
To fully embrace the changing of the seasons and stay in tune with nature, try to observe the seasons closely and celebrate them, instead of just letting them pass by. Eating in-season, nutritious foods, embracing the changing of the colours of the leaves, going fruit- or berry-picking, and observing the different daylight rhythms and temperature changes are all ways to feel more in tune with the natural rhythm.

Watch sunrise/sunset
Seeing the sun rise or set reminds us to cherish the small moments in life. At aim’n, watching the sunrise or sunset is one of our favourite ways to unwind, welcome a new day and express our thankfulness for yesterday. Take a few minutes out of your day to soak up the beauty of this experience. Go to your favourite spot in the city or on the beach and take a mental break and get a boost of melatonin and serotonin, our “feel-good” hormones.

Do something creative
Looking for some new creative inspiration? Crafting or practising a hobby outdoors is effectful for getting the creative juices flowing and strengthens your connection to your natural surroundings. Experiment with painting or drawing the beautiful scenery while sitting in your favourite spot, craft something using stones, shells or leaves, capture the stunning scenery with your camera, or write down some positive affirmations or feelings on your next outdoor adventure.

Be it catching the sunset, doing a sweaty outdoor workout or a moment of meditation, it’s so rewarding to connect to your natural surroundings. The best part is, nature is everywhere. It’s free, and always available and you can start deepening your connection today. We hope you find some inspiration and new habits that help you regularly connect with our beautiful planet. So get out there. Nature is calling!