We’re always rushing around, packing too much into our already busy lives. Add in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and you have a recipe for burnout. When we finally have a moment to pause, we find our necks craned, scrolling mindlessly through our phones. It’s no wonder anxiety levels are through the roof! I have a proposal for you: slow down! There’s nothing like being fully present in the moment to bring peace and calm to your life. If you’re looking for a natural, free way to reduce stress and anxiety, I invite you to go for a slow wander, noticing what’s in motion. Explore your yard, your neighborhood, or simply sit on your porch or balcony for 15 to 20 minutes. Scan the scenery around you, looking for motion. Your mind will probably drift, and that’s OK. When it does, turn your attention back to your breath and what’s in motion. If you’re going for a stroll, slow your roll.
This quote beautifully illustrates the ideal pace for this mindful invitation:
“When we walk like (we are rushing), we print anxiety and sorrow on the earth. We have to walk in a way that we only print peace and serenity on the earth… Be aware of the contact between your feet and the earth. Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.” ― Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, spiritual leader, poet and peace activist
If you see something interesting, take time to be with it. Explore how the wind blows the clouds and makes the trees sway; let your gaze follow the birds and insects; examine a plant closely. Activities like this bring us into the present moment and fill us with wonder and awe for all the things we usually speed right by. I wonder what you’ll discover in your own backyard!Tree hugs and kisses,KellyAbout the AuthorKelly Bruce is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide/Trail Consultant and the founder of Natural Wanders. She leads forest bathing and nature therapy walks for Asheville Wellness Tours in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Follow along on Instagram and Facebook for more inspiration from nature and to learn about upcoming walks, workshops and retreats. (Photography by @zailaffitte)