Tory MP Tim Loughton caused a stir yesterday by saying that his daily hour-long morning bath is like “a gym for the mind”. Of course this isn’t exactly what he said. Actually, he was talking about the techniques of mindfulness and meditation which he practices while in the bath.
He’s right, of course, mindfulness is so hot right now because it works. Whether as a technique to increase calm and reduce anxiety, to help with symptoms of depression and mental illness or to boost productivity and creativity at work and at home, mindfulness works wonders. Getting started on the path to mindfulness is as easy as taking a deep breath and becoming calmly aware of your surroundings.
And that’s where the wild comes in. The forest is the perfect place to practice mindfulness. Away from the noisy distractions of the technological city, the natural world offers a much more pleasant space to be mindful in. The sights and sounds of the wild are gentle and pleasing to the eyes and ears, and the fascinating wealth and diversity of plants, animals and fungi rewards the close, receptive attention which mindfulness encourages.
To learn to forage, you must learn the sights, sounds and smells of the wild. When identifying a plant you must be observant and attentive to detail. In short, mindfulness is a natural consequence of foraging. Another reason foraging is good for the mind!
Book one of our foraging experiences for your team, and you’ll see what we mean. If an hour-long bath is “a gym for the mind” then wait until you try a forest bath, as the Japanese call it. It really will do wonders for your wellbeing.