• Nature, Mindfulness and Self-Care

    You may have noticed that “The Great Outdoors” has a supporting role on this website.

    Maybe website designers were mistakenly led to believe they were promoting an outdoor travel club. Just joking. The truth is that the Mindful Counseling Center purposefully incorporates images of nature into its website not only because it is nice to look at, but also due to the fact that nature can be a tool in supporting the effectiveness of therapy and mindfulness practices, and self-care more generally.

    We answer below what we are sure are burning questions you have related to our “greater outdoors” theme. (Again, just joking.)

    The tree of life is featured in the center’s logo. One variation includes the tree of life and ocean waves. Why you ask?

    The tree of life is part of the logo because it is an apt metaphor for personal growth and fulfillment, through times of ease and times of strife. The Mindful Counseling Center can assist you with this growth process, aiding you in dealing with life’s stressors and enjoying life more. We sometimes add waves to the logo, both because the ocean is a big part of life in our local communities, and as a reminder of the importance of learning to “ride the waves” of our thoughts and emotions, accepting them as they are, rather than getting pulled under by the suffering they may evoke. 

    There are lots of images of wooded pathways, mountains, water and sky in particular on the website. Why?

    We feel lucky to have ready access to nature in New Jersey, especially along the coast and via our parks and gardens. As Florence Williams reflects, in The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative, the peaceful and nurturing elements of nature helps us regain equanimity, cognitive clarity, empathy and hope. There is a lot of research that points to the benefits of nature to mental well-being, yet Williams says that “at the end of the day, we come out into nature not because of the science behind it, but because of how it makes us feel.”

    Surrounding yourself with nature is one way to cultivate awe and gratitude for the vast beauty teeming around you, to inspire your curiosity and creativity, to soothe you, and to help you gain insights and find peace. We encourage you to take advantage of nature as a tool for self-care. 

    Contact the Mindful Counseling Center at 609-377-5859 or [email protected] for assistance in using nature as a tool to enhance your mental well-being. Also see our upcoming 3-part blog on self-care.

     Article and images by Kristin Littel. 

    Related Blog: Walking Mindfully