How to Manifest Mindfulness with Eco Consciousness

Mindfulness is a topic that has been rising in popularity over the last few years.

Want to skip ahead?

1. What Is Mindfulness +
How Can It Help Me
2. Simple Mindful Activities
You Can Perform Outdoors
3. Thanking Nature For All
Its Benefits

4. Improving Our Level Of
Consciousness

5. Simple Resources To Get
Started

With more open talk about mental health, being more mindful is something everyone is wanting to know more about.

Studies have shown benefits against a wide range of ailments, both physical and mental.

These include irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

So how can you manifest mindfulness and how can it benefit you?


This article is in collaboration with Marta and Kelli of smplysustainable.com. To read more, please click here.


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The ultimate guide to mindfulness in the outdoors and spending time in nature. Learn how to thank the environment with these eco consciousness tips.

What is Mindfulness and How Can it Help Me?

Headspace defines mindfulness as, ‘the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them’.

It can all seem quite complex at first, but it is actually the simplest practice you can do.

It only requires as much time as you can give (even a couple of minutes a day is productive), and the only tool you need is your mind.

In simple terms, I’d describe my mindful activities as just being aware of everything around me. Just taking the time to move slowly, if at all, and concentrate on my breathing and how I feel.

It is really that straight-forward and you can’t do it wrong!

All practice is progress, and everything can be done at your own pace. This is your special time.

So, a lot of you might be thinking, what’s the point?

Well, in short, it can make you a lot happier.

According to Headspace, people who incorporate mindfulness into their lives ‘often report heightened levels of happiness, patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as lower levels of stress, frustration, and sadness’.

Who wouldn’t want all that?

Of course everybody is different, but the evidence to support the benefits of mindfulness are immense.

One study conducted by Northeastern University, found that 10 days of mindful activity increased positivity and well-being.



Simple Mindful Activities You Can Perform Outdoors

Alongside mindfulness, spending time outdoors in nature is super beneficial to your health, mental and physical.

Being outside can boost your energy, immune system and your concentration.

Not to mention, spending time out in the open can actually make you a better person!

According to psychologists, exposure to nature can help you shrug off societal pressures, allowing you to remember and value more important things like relationships, sharing, and community. 

So, what better way to do a spot of self-improvement and look after yourself, than combining the two? Mindfulness and nature.

Below, I have rounded-up the best mindful activities you can do whilst breathing in some fresh air.

Go for a walk

This is one of the simplest tasks you can do to enhance your ability to be mindful and improve your health.

Taking some time out of your day to go for a little stroll around your neighbourhood or a long hike out in the country, is all great practice.

Spend your time really taking in everything around you.

Look around you. What can you see? What can you smell?

These are great initiators to evoke mindfulness.

Practice some yoga

Now this one isn’t for everybody. If you have never practiced yoga before it might be out of your comfort zone to go out and do it in public.

However, you can begin practice at home, in your back garden is preferable.

The idea of yoga can be a bit daunting at first. I know it definitely was for me.

But you can do it, I recommend watching some beginners’ tutorials on YouTube. They really helped me.

Just remember, it doesn’t matter if you can’t do the poses correctly or it’s not comfortable for you.

Go at your own pace. The key isn’t in the positions, but in your slow movement and breathing.

Breathing in to the poses is vital for yoga.

So roll out your mat on the fresh grass and get practicing!

Meditate

Similarly to yoga, meditation is a whole new experience for some.

Meditation is the purest form of mindfulness there is. All the things we have previously discussed about mindfulness  all comes into meditation.

Find a quiet spot outdoors where you can comfortably sit and stay undistracted.

It is inevitable that you will become distracted at some point, whether you get caught up in your own thoughts or a loud car goes zooming past.

Do not let this trouble you. Just lovingly bring yourself back to your breathing and you will be in your happy place again before you know it.

Concentrate on your breathing

There are loads of great breathing techniques that can enhance your state of calmness and tranquillity.

Relieving yourself from stress and anxiety, something as simple as breathing had to be on the list.

Firstly, make yourself comfortable outside. Preferably, in a seated position.

I recommend closing your eyes to ensure complete focus on your breathing.

Next, establish where in your body you are breathing from.

Can you feel the expansion in your lungs, diaphragm or stomach?

Deep and slow breathing often feels like it is coming from your stomach, and this is the area I like to concentrate on.

You can simply breathe in and out slowly, with a focus on the area of rising and falling.

Or you can opt for a different breathing technique.

My favourite is the triangle method.

Imagine a triangle in your mind, and use the sides of this shape to guide your breathing.

Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, then release your breathe for another 3 seconds.

Repeat these steps over and over for a relaxing way to destress and become more mindful.

Focus on your five senses

And finally, probably the most important activity you can do…focus on your senses.

Spending time outdoors is amazing in many ways, but the vast array of colours, smells and sounds it offers has to be used to your advantage.

Using your senses to become more aware of your surroundings and the environment, is one of the most mindful things you can do, and here’s how.

  • SIGHT – look around you, what can you see? Are there any people about or wildlife? Are your surroundings bright and colourful? Spend time counting all the things you can see that interest you.
  • HEARING – dial into your hearing and listen out, what can you hear? Are there birds singing? Or cars driving past? Perhaps you are near a running stream? Try to count how many different sounds you can hear.
  • SMELL – now concentrate on your nose, what can you smell? This one may not be as obvious as some of your other senses, but I assure you that there are smells all around. Can you smell freshly cut grass? Or has it been raining?
  • TASTE – next focus on your mouth and tongue, what can you taste? Have you still got the taste of the last thing you ate? Or are you sipping a lovely warm drink? Try to describe what you can taste in a few words.
  • TOUCH – lastly think about what you are touching, what can you feel? Is the warmth of the sun casting on your face? Or is there a breeze brushing past your skin? Think about how your body is making contact with the ground, are you sat down or stood up?

Follow this link to learn how to repay nature for all its mindfulness gifts. With tips on being mindful outdoors and sustainability.

Thanking Nature for All Its Benefits

The way nature can enhance your mindfulness practice is second to none.

So how can we repay this amazing force for all its benefits and gifts?

For a start, we can be more conscious of our surroundings, the environment.

How is our lifestyle negatively impacting the Earth we live on?

As the dominant species of our planet, it is important to do all we can to look after our environment.

This is where sustainability comes in.

Head on over to Simplifying Sustainability to read all about how we can work together to help our planet thrive and attempt to undo all the trauma we have caused our environment so far.



Improving Our Level of Consciousness

How is our lifestyle negatively impacting the Earth we live on? As the dominant species of our planet, it is important to do all we can to look after our environment.

This is where sustainability comes in. For more information, see smplysustainable.com.

Human activity has resulted in a sustained negative impact on the environment.

Indeed, some scientists have pointed out that we are currently living in the Anthropocene, a “unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems” (National Geographic Society, 2019).

Outcomes from fluctuating climate patterns are uncertain, as “the scientific community doesn’t agree about the depth of climate change impacts on the planet” (Lemkow, 2020).

However, it is our responsibility to be aware of our own actions and their intended consequences.

“The challenge remains in opening up people’s imagination to that possibility that it can be done differently”

Katherine Trebeck

Follow this article to learn how nature gives you love and encourages mindfulness, and how you can love nature back.

Simple Resources to Get Started

To unlock change, education is the first necessary step. Following this, an educational guide of resources to understand our impact on the environment has been developed.

Find the latest tools and resources to be more aware of what a conscious lifestyle is:

Books

Podcasts + Videos

Websites


This article is in collaboration with Marta and Kelli of smplysustainable.com. To read more, please click here.

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Drink More Water – The Benefits + How to Establish the Habit

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog post! I’m back again, and today I want to discuss the benefits of a basic human need…drinking water.

Some readers might think this is a topic that doesn’t need a discussion, as it is quite imperative to our survival.

But it is really surprising how many of us drink little to no water daily.

Want to skip ahead?

1. The Physical Benefits
2. The Psychological Benefits
3. My Personal Experience
4. Establish Drinking Water
as a Habit

5. How Much Water Should
We Be Drinking?

I was one of these people for a long time and have only recently changed my ways.

Over the last 3 months, I have really noticed a difference in how I feel and positive changes in my body. And this is all because I began drinking more water.

I want to discuss my personal experiences with the wonders of hydration later on in this article.

But for now, let’s get into the sciencey bit.


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learn how to drink more water and why you should establish the water drinking habit for your health and fitness benefits

The Physical Benefits

By ‘physical benefits’, I am referring to the changes we notice to the external parts of our bodies, these are usually the changes and benefits most talked about when it comes to water consumption.

1. Boosts your performance during exercise

Physical exertion is the number one reason people stop exercising. They are too tired to carry on. But what if there was a way to extend the period of energised movement?

There is…drinking water is the answer.

Your physical performance can be almost instantly improved by hydrating.

This is especially important when exercising intensely or in hot conditions (see here).

Drinking a good amount of water can prevent reduced motivation and exhaustion.

I have also found, it makes exercising feel less difficult, physically and mentally.

2. Speeds up weight loss

Water is a fast and easy way to boost your metabolism. It is so simple, drink water and lose weight quicker and more efficiently.

A boost in your metabolic rate, helps your body to burn more calories on a daily basis. Therefore, resulting in weight loss.

A great tip is to drink a glass of water 30 minutes before your next meal. It can make you feel fuller and as a result, you intake fewer calories (see here).

water splash drinking drink h2o aqua bottle droplets liquid benefits health fitness
Photo by Samara Doole on Unsplash

3. Keeps your skin bright and tight

When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.

Drinking more water can prevent this from happening.

Keeping your body hydrated, will keep your skin hydrated and, in turn, promote the production of collagen.



The Psychological Benefits

The psychological benefits of staying hydrated refers to the affects on the brain and behaviours. These changes are not as commonly discussed as the physical changes as they are often not as obvious.

1. Improves your brain functionality and boosts energy levels

Studies have shown that just mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3%) can negatively affect your energy levels and mood, resulting in a poorer performance of your brain and memory.

This is because your brain is highly influenced by your water consumption.

Therefore, increasing the amount of water you are drinking, and staying hydrated, helps your brain and energy do the best they can.

water splash drinking drink h2o aqua bottle droplets liquid benefits health fitness chillys macbook laptop flat lay

2. Prevents the risk of headaches and can treat existing ones

Dehydration and headaches often go hand-in-hand.

Getting a headache is one of the number one symptoms that you are not drinking enough water (see here).

Studies have also shown a correlation between drinking water and the relief of headaches.

3. Can enhance your mood

Similarly to improved brain functionality, keeping hydrated can also positively affect your mood.

Dehydration has been linked to an increase in fatigue and confusion. This unhealthy state can also progress to feelings of anxiety.

Therefore, as a result of drinking water, your mood is likely to be more positive.


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My Personal Experience

As I’m sure you know, there are a tonne more benefits to drinking water and staying hydrated. The list could go on forever.

If you would like to find out more about the positive effects, go ahead and click here.

Along with the enhancements listed above, I also felt a lot of changes to my mental state and overall energy levels.

Firstly, I noticed improvements in my bodily functions. Everything just seemed to work a bit smoother and more efficiently (although I definitely needed to use the toilet more).

I think because my body and its functions felt better, so did I.

My energy and efficiency seemed to double overnight. I now have more energy to be productive and more energy and drive during exercise.

These changes over the past months have also positively affected my mental health. Having more energy and getting more things done, has made me feel happier than I have in forever.

I have loved the differences I have found in myself due to my perseverance with drinking more water and instilling this habit.



Establish Drinking Water as a Habit

Remembering to keep drinking water throughout the day, hasn’t always been as easy for me as it is now.

For someone who only really had a drink with a main meal, it was very unusual for me to be drinking throughout the day, and to choose water over a fizzy drink.

It has taken me about a month to really get the hang of this habit and imprint this into my way of life.

So here is how I did it so you can too!

Invest in a quality water bottle or flask

I purchased a Chilly’s bottle and can not recommend it enough. It is great value for money, as the quality is outstanding and the bottle keeps my water cold for longer than I even need.

I love my water bottle so much, I actually want to drink from it. This investment really kickstarted my waterdrinking and has continued to remind me to stay hydrated.

I seriously recommend everyone gets a reusable water bottle. Not only for yourselves, but also for the environment.

7.7 billion single-use water bottles are used each year, in the UK alone. Most end up polluting our rivers and seas, often endangering wildlife.

Set yourself a goal

In the early days of establishing your habit, it can be very important to set yourself a goal to keep in mind throughout your journey.

For me, I started by simply having a sip of water from my water bottle whenever I remembered.

Eventually, when I was doing this regularly, I set myself a new target to consume a certain amount of cups per day.

Every time I reached my goal, I celebrated my success then set a new one.

Finally, I managed to drink the NHS’s recommended daily allowance with ease.

water splash drinking drink h2o aqua bottle droplets liquid benefits health fitness girl woman insta menu restaurant cafe pub
Photo by Pontus Ohlsson on Unsplash

Track your daily water intake

This was a big one for me. Tracking how much water you drink, can encourage you to drink more by giving yourself a sense of achievement.

You should celebrate every day that you get closer to your goal and the days you reach it.

Tracking your intake is also important to make sure you are on the right track and are consuming the amount you set out to.

If you have a diary or bullet journal, I recommend creating a monthly habit tracker and making a note of how many glasses you are drinking each day.

Have a glass of water with every meal

By using food as a reminder to drink water, you are much more likely to remember to do it.

I used to always have a fizzy drink or fruit cordial with my meals. This meant I was consuming more sugar and not getting as much water as I needed.

By ensuring you only drink water with your food, you are adding to your daily total whilst keeping yourself hydrated throughout meals.

Keep water by your bed

Having a drink of water just before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up is a great practice, and one which benefits your body in many ways.

Make sure to fill up your water bottle or glass before you get into bed so it will be waiting for you in the morning.

This is an easy reminder for yourself, as well as being a great way to kickstart your mornings.


we've all heard that drinking lot of water is good for us, but to what extent? How can it change our lives for the better and what unusual benefits are there? Find out here. blog blogger newbie beginner blog post writing community website health fitness water benefits drinking drink beverage h2o aqua liquid advantages life-changing establish encourage instil habit healthy drink more glass cup litres recommended

So How Much Water Should You be Drinking Daily?

Unfortunately there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question.

Many different scientific studies has revealed many different results. Results which are all similar and prove the benefits of drinking water, but have lead to slightly different recommendations.

The recommended amount of water to intake daily, mainly differs from country to country. This can be linked to different climates; the warmer the climate, the more you should drink.

For this article, I use and refer to the UK government’s recommended 6-8 cups or glasses of water per day. This is equivalent to around 1.2 litres.

This includes drinking low-fat milks and low-sugar drinks, including tea and coffee. However, I personally only track my pure water consumption.

But if you would like to, or feel the need, to drink more water than this, please do. You would have to drink between 0.8 to 1.0 litres of water per hour to be at risk of over-hydration.



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Beginning My Intermittent Fasting Journey

Whilst I decide what I really want this blog to be about, I thought it would be a good idea to start off by introducing a recent discovery in my life.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a full UK lockdown, I had never really come across the term ‘intermittent fasting’ and I definitely had no clue as to what it was all about.

But as the days turn into weeks, weeks into months, I knew I had to make a change in my lifestyle in order to become healthier and lose the weight I’ve been trying to for about 5 years.

In the past, I have tried so many different methods for weight loss and had no joy. I’ve even tried unhealthy methods, such as starving myself at one point, I don’t condone or recommend this at all.

But the point is, I’ve given pretty much everything a go, healthy eating, extreme exercise and my body just doesn’t seem to change. I’m very results-driven so because of this, I often give up these diets pretty early on.

So with the UK lockdown restricting our exercise and variety of foods, I decided I needed to find a new way to shed the pounds and this is how I found out about intermittent fasting.


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Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Working it out

At first it really didn’t make sense to me, all the articles I read had numbers flying at me left, right and center.

From 12:12 to 20:4, I didn’t understand any of it. This is when I began downloading loads of fasting apps on my phone to see if any of them could help me.

After browsing through about 6 of them, I decided Fastic seemed to be the best app for what I was trying to achieve, and I wasn’t wrong!

When you first sign up to the app it recommends for you to join their Facebook group with all the other intermittent fasters of the world.

I soon found out that this is an amazing community where everyone is so friendly and supportive, and always helping to motivate each other to keep going.

Any questions I had about intermittent fasting (including whether brushing my teeth with toothpaste broke my fast), someone was always there to jump into the comment section and provide answers supported with evidence.

(It doesn’t by the way).

So now I had the support system I’d always needed, it was time to give it a go.

Fastic has many features built into it, some which are premium but I’m just using the free version for now, and one of my favourites is their daily lessons.

Each lesson takes about 1 minute to complete and consists of some infographics to help you along your fasting journey, day by day.

This is how I’ve learnt so much about intermittent fasting so quickly.

Motivated by this, I decided to chose an intermediate level fasting programme to begin with, this is the 20:4.

Once you understand it, the numbers used are really simple. 20 is the number of consecutive hours you fast in a day and the 4 is the amount of hours you have to eat.

For another example, one of the suggested beginners programme is the 16:8, for this you would fast for 16 hours straight and have an 8 hour window for food intake.

Another great thing about intermittent fasting is that you can choose the hours you do to fit around your schedule.

So for me, I decided my eating window would be from 4pm to 8pm as this works best with me currently sleeping in late and doing my workout in the afternoon.

The times you choose to eat and fast don’t affect the success of the diet.


Click to view blog post and find out what I've discovered about this life-changing diet, that has more benefits than just weight loss! . . . . . ignore- health fitness fasting fast intermittent diet journey weight loss benefits adventure coronavirus uk lockdown healthy good blog blogger new newbie beginner tips advice pov point of view writing support pinterest article post

My Progress So Far

So, for those of you wondering about my progress, I can tell you that I’ve started off well.

Everyday it becomes easier and easier to reach my fasting goals, some days I’ve fasted for an extra hour. And the results…in the first 5 days I lost 2.4kg!

Unfortunately after consulting my fasting Facebook group, they confirmed that I shouldn’t expect to keep shedding weight this quickly as the majority of this weight loss is from something called ‘water weight‘.

But still, I feel better in myself already.


Click to view blog post and find out what I've discovered about this life-changing diet, that has more benefits than just weight loss! . . . . . ignore- health fitness fasting fast intermittent diet journey weight loss benefits adventure coronavirus uk lockdown healthy good blog blogger new newbie beginner tips advice pov point of view writing support pinterest article post

The Life-Changing Benefits

As well as my speedy progress, there are so many confirmed health benefits to intermittent fasting.

One I found the most surprising was that after a couple weeks you actually begin to feel like you have more energy than ever.

This is because your body will begin to automatically take energy from your body’s stores instead of waiting around for your next intake of food.

Some other amazing benefits are listed below:

(All facts in this list are evidence-based)

So, I’m exciting to keep going with my intermittent fasting and see where it takes me. I will make sure to keep you updated with my progress and when I hopefully reach my goal. 4kg lost, 15kg to go!


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