Supporting our physical and mental wellbeing by becoming more conscious about our environment

Following the article in the September edition of the ‘Focus’ offering free walks during October and November, Zandrea from Inspired Purpose led a small group on a nature walk at Swan Meadows, 9 October.

“Being amongst nature, taking the time to be still and notice the beauty around us can really have a positive benefit on our emotional and mental wellbeing, in addition to the positive physical benefits from taking gentle exercise” Says Zandrea, a Coach, Mental Health and Shirin Yoko practitioner.

Mental Health Day was on the 10 October this year and Zandrea wanted to offer a simple way for people to help to support their emotional and mental wellbeing. Not only is it important for us all to look after our emotional and mental wellbeing, it is also a really important time to recognise how important our natural world is. This can also be a positive way to help people become more conscious of their environment too.

“It is amazing how much time we spend thinking without realising it, this can be stressful over a prolonged period. This is where mindfulness and Shirin Yoko practice comes in, they help you notice where you are and how you feel in the moment, not in the past or focusing on the future, just now!

“I know from my own experience that when I am busy, I can forget to take time for myself. I love being in nature and sometimes I race from one thing to another without noticing what an amazing environment I live in. When that happens things can build up for all of us, as a result it can cause stress and impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing. It can become a vicious circle of thoughts and a sense of stress.  When I take time to pause, see the mountains around us, sit by a tree or tune into the sound of a stream, the feelings of stress fade and I have a sense of release”. There is a lot of evidence in Shirin Yoko to support such benefits in addition to the positive physical impacts such as reducing blood pressure. Derby University has published research that recognises that Shirin Yoko and connecting with nature has both the physical and mental wellbeing benefits.

The walk lasted 2 hours and included Mindfulness and Shirin Yoko practices, with a gentle walk on flat ground, ending with a chat about the experience and a cup of herbal tea.

“It was a wonderful morning, it is a privilege supporting people to connect with nature in a way that they may have not before” says Zandrea “particularly when people experience something that they can take into their everyday lives, thank you to Abergavenny Community centre for supporting me to make this happen”.  Zandrea is arranging another free walk for members of the Abergavenny Community Centre and the wider community for November.

I was invited to go on a Nature Walk with Zandrea, just a gentle riverside 2 hour walk, which I have done a few times before, as it’s just around the corner from my home.

It was totally different, because Zandrea encouraged us to take in every small detail along the way, I could have sat watching the little waterfall for ages, it just drew me in, as good as a meditation, but more enjoyable. 

I particularly enjoyed feeling absorbed under the huge trees, I felt so tiny, and enjoyed hugging the trees, something I always thought was totally bonkers, but it did give me a relief, it’s hard to explain. It’s really about absorbing our surroundings not just walking quickly by, but by taking time to appreciate the beauty around us”, I recommend it highly

Kay’s reflection of the walk

The walk really helped me to appreciate nature not to rush past it but to stop and look listen and touch. Life can be frantic and overwhelming at times; I realised its ok to take quiet time for me.

Karen’s reflection of the walk

Please contact Zandrea@inspiredpurpose.co.uk or 07939 64508 if you are interested in joining us in November

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