Mental Health Awareness week, which runs from 10th - 16th May, is an opportunity to open up conversations about mental wellbeing in the UK. This year the theme is ‘Nature’, and taking time to appreciate and connect to it for our mental health.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, more than 60% of UK adults say that being in nature has led them to experience positive emotions such as calm, wonder and joy. But, more importantly, it turns out that it is not just being in nature, but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts. That's why organisers are encouraging us not to just be in nature, but connect with nature.
At No.1 Living, we believe that our wellbeing is our number one priority, and that how we connect with the world around us has a huge impact on our mental and physical health. So much so that our founder, Jonny Wilkinson, has shared some of his thoughts on nature, and what it means to him.
"For mental health awareness week it can be really powerful to remember that we are not living in nature, but we are nature.
It means we don’t have to be out amongst the greenery, or in the great outdoors, to experience the peace and beauty of nature. It exists within us, as who we are. Nevertheless, our wooded areas can remind us of some very important things:
Nature is simply being all it can be. What an example of how to live fully!
Nature is not trying to do anything, go anywhere, fight against anything or prove itself in anyway. What an example of how to simply be - right here, right now!
Nature is not stressing to earn its fulfilment. It is expressing its already present fulfilment and unique worthiness. What an example of how to effortlessly perform!
Nature is seamlessly connected to everything around it in every way, always fully accepting of its environment and fully responding to it. What an example of how to exist, as one!
Walking in nature – slowly, relaxed, grounded, and deeply breathing in the fresh air – brings us back to the understanding that there is no line that separates us from the planet we live in.
When we are willing to let go of everything we think we are – everything we think we know – we may find our experience flowing, growing and blossoming to exactly the same tune and rhythm as the trees and plants, connecting in ways we may not have ever imagined possible to our worlds."
Founder of No.1 Living