Mindfulness in Nature:  Overcoming Nature Deficit Disorder

I’ve just returned from hosting my mindfulness in nature retreat at Huon Bush Retreats.  One of the key focuses is to calm the mind, which in my opinion is much easier to do when immersed in nature.  For example, we did a whole mindfulness practice listening to a baby wallaby nibbling on the grass a few meters from us.  Such a wondrous and intimate experience!   But what is mindfulness, and how have we become so disconnected from nature that a new term has been created “nature deficit disorder”?

 What is mindfulness, and what is nature deficit disorder?

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgment or distraction. In the context of nature, this means being fully present in the natural environment, paying attention to the sounds, sights, and smells around us. When we practice mindfulness in nature, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve our mood, and develop a greater appreciation for the natural world. Mindfulness in nature is a powerful tool for combatting nature deficit disorder. By practicing mindfulness in the natural world, we can deepen our connection to the environment around us and reduce the negative effects of a lack of exposure to nature.

How can we reconnect with nature?

Furthermore, by spending time in nature and practicing mindfulness, we can combat the negative effects of nature deficit disorder. By making time for outdoor activities and nature exploration, we can reduce the amount of time spent indoors and increase our exposure to the natural world. Additionally, incorporating mindfulness practices into these activities can help us fully appreciate and connect with the natural world around us. 

We do not need to travel into deep and remote wilderness regions to do this.  For example, taking a walk in the bush and practicing mindful breathing can help us connect with the natural environment and reduce stress levels. Similarly, spending time gardening and practicing mindful awareness of the sights, sounds, and smells of the garden can help us appreciate the beauty of nature and reduce the negative effects of a lack of connection to the natural world.

In conclusion, blending mindfulness in nature and combating nature deficit disorder is a powerful way to improve our overall well-being. By making time for outdoor activities, practicing mindfulness in nature, and fully appreciating the natural world around us, we can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve our mental, emotional, and physical health.



Jo Cordell-Cooper operates the award winning business Jo CC Holistic PT, offers personal training, stress management strategies, preparation for hiking workouts, and adventure travel to multi-day hikes, locally and overseas.  Jo is a mindfulness coach.  She is based in Geilston Bay, just east of Hobart, but you can work with her online too.  Join us on facebook in my free group Holistic Hiker for more healthy lifestyle tips and tricks.