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Nature Heals: 3 Tips for Mindful Hiking

Nature Heals 3 Tips for Mindful Hiking

Spending time in nature is one of the most therapeutic, healing and invigorating activities you can do for your health – mental, physical and emotional. In spring, hiking is a popular activity for physical exercise but it can also be incredibly beneficial for mental health when done mindfully.

Hiking mindfully and with intention is a moving meditation which can relieve stress and anxiety, promote creativity, ease mental fatigue, reinvigorate the senses, strengthen mind-body integration, and reconnect you to Mother Nature.

Making the effort to not just scale a mountain for physical exercise but to interact with nature itself opens our minds and bodies—accumulating earth’s energy within us to take back into our everyday lives.

How to Hike Mindfully

These simple tips will help you consciously hold your awareness in your body and fully absorb the healing power of nature.

  1. Consciously Engage Your Senses: Our senses are inundated with stimulation in everyday life. By making time to look at the beauty that surrounds you while hiking, you can deeply engage your body and mind in the present. Smell the freshness of nature and feel the breeze on your skin. Stop to look at a beautiful flower or an interesting plant, gaze at the crevasses and peaks of the mountain, bask in the warmth of the sun and really listen to the sounds of life around you.

  2. Move Mindfully: It may be common to rush through a hike to get to the top of the trail and head back down to continue on your day. But when you mindfully take your time and focus on the movement of each step and how your breath supports each movement, you allow yourself to become deeply immersed in the moment. When you live in the moment you will come to realize that you appreciate and truly enjoy time spent in nature. Go slowly and deliberately. As you inhale, breathe to the bottom of your belly and envision all your cells being oxygenated with fresh air. Feel your weight shifting from foot to foot. Become one with nature and radically present.

  3. Tap into the Energy of the Earth: At the bottom of both feet, there is an acupressure point that is a major energy vortex and has the power to revitalize mind, body and spirit when stimulated. Known as Yongchun or Bubbling Spring (yong = courage, chun = spring), it is located in the center of the sole of the foot near the toes. This point is connected to the kidneys, which control the Water Up Fire Down energy flow, and help balance emotions and internal energy. By sending your attention here and noticing the sensation of stimulation while hiking, you can energetically activate the flow of ki and help relieve stress stored in the kidneys. This will also help you consciously absorb the negative ions emitted by nature which have the power to recalibrate and heal the entire body.

There is a beautiful world around and within us, we just need to open up to receive the infinite energy. Whether you’re out to hike to the summit of a mountain or simply going for a stroll through the park or your neighborhood, take a moment to tune in to your surroundings and the feelings in your mind and body. Even just a few moments of mindful attention can do wonders for your mental and physical health.

How do you interact with nature and what changes do you feel after spending time in it? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Written by Morgan Garza
Morgan is a free spirit, world traveler and a lover of light. She loves to write about and research our inner healing power to help people realize their true potential. An avid practicer of yoga and meditation, Morgan is continuously evolving. She encourages all of us to follow our dreams by taking that first step into the unknown and truly practices what she preaches.
2 Comments Tell us your thoughts
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Beautiful article and guidance. Thank you so much dear Morgan!!! I too love immersing myself in nature connecting with the beautiful healing energy that our tree, animal, bird, insect, rock and plant friends so freely provide. Staying present and opening up all of my senses to this magical energy flow around, through and within me is amazing! My bodies vibrant and I feel so much love and joy inside and around me. This is where I go to release, reflect and recharge. I emerge with my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies so light with my aura glowing. I especially love hugging trees and giving and receiving energy I recently came back from the Mt Shasta and the Redwoods in California and they are so amazing!!! We are ONE!!! I now am enjoying spring time in Chicago with the fresh aroma and beautiful sight of trees, bushes and flowers blooming everywhere! Birds are delightfully singing a fresh new song filled with love. Feeling very blessed in this day and moment. Thank you so much for sharing
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Another great article by Morgan. I love being outdoors especially talking a walk or hiking through the woods. I've hiked in the Shawangunk Mountains known as The Gunks right where Honors Haven is. It's so beautiful there, if you hike along the ridge you emerge from the trees to view some beautiful vistas...there will always be hawks or vultures swooping around, really breathtaking! Great article I love how you work in the energetics of mindfulness and hiking. I've always found it to be a very meditative practice. Kamsahamnida!
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Jeff! Thank you for your kind words! It makes me so happy that you enjoy reading my writing – this one was particularly enjoyable to write as hiking is also a passion of mine! I've heard wonderful things about Honors Haven and will definitely make my way there one day. Thank you for being here and sharing your light!
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