J is for Journaling: mindfulness in nature

Taking time to record your experiences in nature is good for both body and mind

Woman writing in journal against tree in woods

Journaling is accessible for everyone; all you need is a notebook and a pen. Scientists say it can reduce stress, anxiety and even boost the immune system. This simple activity can be done on a walk, while sitting at a peaceful vista or in the garden, and will help you to appreciate your surroundings and the emotions they evoke. 

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Focus your attention on the crunch of leaves beneath your feet, the dappled sunlight breaking through the trees or the distant sound of birdsong.

Journaling is good for the mind
J is for Journaling ©Lynn Hatzius

Write down your achievements: the distances you walked, the new places you discovered, or the help you offered to a fellow walker as they stood there, stumped by their map. These observations and feelings can be the subject of your journal. If you run out of things to write about, or your mind starts to wander, take a moment to refocus. Blank pages can be terrifying, but journaling doesn’t have to be full sentences; it can be single words or even sketches.

Young woman writing in diary while sitting on mountain
Pause on your walk and sketch what you see ©Getty

On those rare days when you don’t feel like going outside, look back at your journal and relive those little moments of peace and calm. 

Words: Laura Phillips

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Main image ©Getty