Autumn is a beautiful time of the year. I love the crisp, fresh air and the changing color of the leaves. I found myself out in nature most days this October 2022, fully immersing myself in mindful meditation walks and soaking up the sights and sounds of my environment.
I think with the change of weather, the change of scenery, gives a new, fresh experience to walking in nature. The way I see it, as the seasons change, new opportunities for personal growth and artistic inspiration come. At the same time, I think my mental health has suffered the past few weeks and I needed nature more than ever to find a sense of calm in the mental storm. I don’t need to go into specifics, but I have found I felt overwhelmed and stressed with multiple areas of my life, some in my control and some not.
The highlight of this whole process is my photographs. I find peace and beauty with my nature photos and can say from experience that I have a sense of relaxation when viewing them. I think this is due to a few factors. When I reflect on my photographs I recall the walk I originally went on. I remember the process, the smells of trees, the sights, the wind, the time of day, the sound of walking on the grass, whether the sun was out. Using my imagination, I can go back to a time where I found relaxation during times of anxiety and stress. Likewise, my PhD research found that viewing nature photographs provides calming effects. I plan on exploring this concept more in my thesis.
Below are some photographs from my walks during October 2022.