At last Spring is here even though it is being a bit contrary with the weather! For me this is my favourite season with the longer evenings and the chance to get out into the garden.
As a Coach and Occupational Therapist I spend all my time being with people listening to their difficulties and supporting them in finding a way forward to change. At times my head can feel like it is full to the brim! A way for me to “empty” my head is to be back in touch with nature, whether that is gardening, walking or photography. There is something about being in the present moment seeing, feeling and hearing what is around us.
Over the recent years a new form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has come to the fore front – Mindfulness http://bemindful.co.uk/ http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/mindfulness.htm . This may be done within formal sessions with trained practitioners but the principles can be applied to us all.
Mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism but we can all practice bringing our attention and awareness to what we are doing in the current moment. One definition is “bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis” (Wikipedia).
I am not a qualified practitioner in Mindfulness but for me just to stop and listen to the birds in the garden or look out over the sea and watch the colours of light change brings about a sense of peace and perspective.
There is increasing research on the positive benefits to being in green spaces known as ecotherapy http://www.mind.org.uk/campaigns_and_issues/report_and_resources/835_ecotherapy
It has been shown that if you can for some part of your day be in a green space whether a park or a garden then stress levels decrease and self esteem increases. Even working in an office that looks out onto greenery has positive benefits. If this is not possible put a landscape poster on the wall and look at it throughout the day.
So this Spring, wherever you work, take time out to be somewhere green and allow yourself time to just be in the present moment.