One of the great benefits of being in nature is that it stimulates our senses. For babies, this is an incredible experience as so many things are unknown and exciting to discover. As adults, we can forget to slow down and connect with our senses. This is how we literally make sense of the world so when we connect with our senses we deepen our connection to nature.
Let’s look at our senses in turn;
It’s useful to soften our gaze in nature. Urban environments can be stressors to the eye and demand you to be alert at all times. the University of Michigan psychologist, Stephan Kaplan says we enter into a state of “soft fascination” in the woods. The practice of softly gazing and noticing can be deeply healing and relaxing. This exercise helps to expand our gaze and broaden our view of nature.
Enjoy the “cognitive quiet” of nature that calms our sensory systems and clears the mind. Closing your eyes and listening to the depth of sound helps us to feel connected to the moment. Just listening to pre-recorded nature sounds can help us feel more relaxed. You might like to find a track you feel connected to on YouTube and listen to it when you are at home and share it with your parents too.
There are so many incredible sounds to experience in the forest. Sounds are often layered and have different depths.
Touch is about bringing awareness to how things feel. It can be the clothes on our bodies. It can be how the breath enters our body. It can be how our body feels resting against a tree or on the floor. Hugging a tree means you get up close and personal with phytoncides which are antimicrobial essential oils that protect trees from germs and help to boost mood, immune system function, stress and anxiety and even increase creativity.
Take an object and hold it in your hands and then really focus your attention on how it feels in your hands.
Walking in the woods is like having an aromatherapy session! As well as the phytoncide oils that help to defend trees, there are also oils called terpenes that make us feel good, enhance mood and calm and energise us. One particular oil that is released is called D-limonene which smells like citrus and is so powerful that it is claimed by some research in Japan to work better than anti-depressants to help promote wellbeing with patients with mental illness.
Smell is often ignored as a sense but it is powerful and connected to our emotional brain or limbic system. Smells really anchor in emotions. Even smelling soil can help us feel more relaxed and connected. See what smell you feel attracted to.
Becoming aware of taste at a deeper level awakens our senses. There is great depth in taste. There is flavour, texture and temperature amongst other things. You may have a sense of anticipation around taste especially if it’s your favourite thing to eat.
The Sixth Sense
Being in nature can help us develop our sense of intuition and connection to something bigger than ourselves. To source energy. Nature creates a sense of awe for life. It helps us to remember that all things are temporary and change and grow. It can help us develop gratitude for our brief moment on the planet and to remember who we are.
Blossom & Berry’s mission is to grow babies with love, touch, responsive care and positive interaction. We create nurturing experiences for parents and babies to deepen connection and confidence. We focus on touch as a way to support infant and maternal mental health as we believe this is the foundation for health and happiness. Blossom & Berry was born out of love!
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About Blossom & Berry
Blossom & Berry offers expert training, support & resources on baby massage, yoga and parent and baby wellness for professionals & parents across the world.
Blossom & Berry training is designed to give you everything you need to succeed. It gives you a complete teaching practice and mentorship program in a box.
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Gayle Berry – Master trainer and international expert on baby massage and yoga, founder of Blossom & Berry.
Your success is our success and having a transformational and nurturing experience is key.