We love the term "Wild in Wellness". It speaks to our hearts, and encompasses our love of the outdoors, as well as the knowing and understanding that we all need to embrace and absorb the natural world, in order to fully thrive mentally and physically.

There is strong interconnectedness between humans and nature. The term "rewilding" is a term most of us are familiar of. Yet, rewilding our ecosystems is not just about protecting, repairing, and re-shaping the environment. Rewilding is also about improving our own health and well-being. Rewilding is not something that is only beneficial for nature, but also for humans.

We, as human beings benefit greatly from rewilding and connecting back into nature. Whether it is spending time tending to your garden, venturing out on a long countryside, woodland or coastal walk, braving a spot of wild swimming or just sitting quietly in open green space, our minds and bodies thrive in the natural world.

Spending time in nature, also known as ecotherapy, has a number of proven health benefits, including:

* Reduced stress and anxiety: Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower cortisol levels and increase serotonin levels, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety whilst boosting feelings of happiness.

* Improved cardiovascular health: Spending time in nature can also lower blood pressure and heart rate, which can improve cardiovascular health.

* Improved mental health: Spending time in nature has been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and to boost overall mood.

* Enhanced cognitive function: Studies have shown that spending time in nature can improve attention, memory, and creativity.

* Stronger immune system: Spending time in nature has been shown to boost the immune system, making it better able to fight off infection.

A very interesting study that was published in the journal Immunity found that spending time in a forest environment led to an increase in immune-fighting cells, as well as lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The study was conducted with a group of 12 healthy adults who were randomly assigned to either a forest bathing group or a control group. The forest bathing group spent two days and one night in a forest environment, while the control group spent the same amount of time in an urban environment.

The results showed that the forest bathing group experienced a significant increase in Natural Killer (NK) cell activity and adiponectin levels compared to the control group. NK cells are a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in the immune system's defence against infection and cancer. Adiponectin is a hormone that has anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic effects.

The study also showed that the forest bathing group experienced a decrease in cortisol levels compared to the control group. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can suppress the immune system.

The findings of this study suggest that spending time in nature may have beneficial effects on human health by promoting immune function and reducing stress levels. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these effects.

The effects of nature on the human gut microbiome...

There is a new and emerging area of research that describes how the composition of the gut microbiome can be influenced by the type of soil that a person is exposed to. For example, people who live in areas with high levels of soil biodiversity have more diverse gut microbiomes.

The communication between the human gut genome and soil microorganisms is a highly complex area of research. However, the evidence suggests that this relationship is important for human health and that it may be possible to manipulate this relationship to improve human health outcomes.

If you are looking for ways to improve your physical and mental health, spending time in nature is a great place to start.

Improve mental health by practising mindfulness in nature...

Mental health is a growing concern in today's world, with more and more people experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. While there are many different types of therapy available, there is one that is accessible to most, drug-free and cheap: practising mindfulness in nature.

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness isn't about emptying your mind, but rather filling it with the moment in time - the here and now. It can be practised anywhere, but when practised in nature, it can be particularly beneficial.

There are many reasons why mindfulness in nature can be so helpful for mental health. Nature is a remarkable therapist! She has a calming effect on the mind and body. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, all of which are associated with stress.

Nature also has this capacity to enable us to connect with something larger than ourselves. This can be especially helpful for people who feel isolated or disconnected from society, or for those who tend to over-analyse the smallest of issues.

Nature can provide us with a sense of awe and wonder. This can help us take our minds off our problems, gain a wider perspective on life, and focus on the beauty of the world around us. That in itself can be a huge relief.

If this sounds appealing, why not try the following mindfulness practise:

Find a place in nature where you feel comfortable and relaxed. This could be a park, a beach, a forest or woodland, or even your own garden.

Once there, take a few minutes to sit quietly and take in all the sights and sounds of nature. If you feel comfortable doing so, take off your shoes and socks. Focus on how your body feels, and the movement of breath in and out of your body.

Once you have become more settled and relaxed, you can start to pay more attention to the sounds around you. Listen to the birds singing, the wind rustling through the trees, or the water flowing.

You can also pay deeper attention to the sensations in your body. Notice the feeling of the sun, or wind on your skin, the breeze in your hair, or the ground beneath your feet. Engage your senses fully - look, listen, feel, and touch.

Stay for as long as you can until you feel completely at home and completely relaxed.

There is no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness in nature. The most important thing is to find a way that works for you and that you enjoy.

You might like to take some photos on your phone, to capture the beauty around you or to snap the moment in time.

Other mindfulness activities you can try:

* Go for a long mindful walk. As you walk, pay attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations around you. Try and get into a gentle walking rhythm and practise an even wave of breathing.

* Go wild swimming. There is nothing quite like a cold water plunge to completely energise your body and your mind.

* Sit under a tree. Close your eyes, smell the smells, and plan your next great adventure!

* Do yoga or any movement practise in the open air - in a park, in the woods or on the beach. It feels amazing to move in nature. As you move through the poses or sequence, pay attention to the sensations on your skin and in your body.

Mindfulness in nature can be a powerful tool for improving your mood, and mental health. If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, give it a try. You may be surprised at how helpful it can be.

Let's all get wild in wellness!