These days we are all so busy rushing from one thing to another that we don’t notice the world around us.

Getting outside and getting some fresh air can make all the difference.

The popularity and awareness of getting outside and enjoying nature for health, and mindfulness/ ecotherapy is rising at the moment. So, I wanted to share some mindfulness tips for you to try next time you come over to the reserve...

Paying more attention to the present, giving notice to our own thoughts and feelings as well as our surroundings can improve mental wellbeing. This awareness is sometimes called mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. Have you ever explored the reserve and felt better for being outside in the fresh air? It's rejuvinating and relaxing... It has been shown to be beneficial to mental well being, and reduce stress.

This lovely picture is by Tony O'Brein, a wonderful view of the reeds during a sunset...

Mindful walking
Reserves are a great place for everyone to try mindful walking – regardless of how much time you have to spare.

Walking could be a perfect time to practice mindfulness, a good alternative to trying to be mindful or meditating while sitting.

Relax as you walk. With each step notice the movement of your legs and the rest of your body, and focus on the sensation of walking. How does the earth feel beneath your feet? Is it spongey or hard? Allow yourself to hear the sounds around you without naming them or thinking about if you enjoy them. Be aware of your sense of smell; simply notice the smells around you. Allow yourself to see what is around you, try to simply observe. If this is too distracting try lowering your gaze to the path ahead. Tune into your sensation of touch as well – the sun on your skin or the air moving past your limbs as you walk.

Find somewhere comfortable to sit and just enjoy the natural world around you - don't try to label things, just listen to the sounds, enjoy the sights and feel the weather happening around you.