There’s an old zen saying: ‘You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day….unless you’re busy. Then you should sit for an hour.’
The same can be said of sitting in nature as it can be very grounding in this crazy, switched-on world.
Being outside and walking in nature has long been championed for its therapeutic benefits and mood enhancing capabilities.
Outdoor therapy advocated by health professionals
In autumn 2018, the NHS in the Shetlands started prescribing nature-based activities like rambling and birdwatching to treat various afflictions like anxiety, depression and blood pressure. And many Scandinavian employers incentivise their staff to spend time outdoors during working hours.
Some studies have shown that regular exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants or psychotherapy in helping treat depression In May 2018, the charity Mind published a brochure 'Nature and mental health' in which it claimed that 'spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing.'
Being outside engages the senses in a way not possible in a room
It has been traditional in counselling practice, to see the room as the only space in which therapy should be conducted. Taking psychotherapy outside of the room goes beyond traditional boundaries of therapeutic practice. Yet a number of psychotherapists across the UK are now safely and ethically seeing clients in outdoor natural settings.
Working therapeutically outdoors can be especially effective if you find it hard to be confined to four walls, or if you struggle with the intensity of one-to-one counselling sessions inside.
Clients who have been counselled indoors, free from interruptions, may find it challenging initially to move outside but it can prove highly beneficial in terms of unlocking memories and boosting your creative and cognitive abilities.
Connecting with nature
The nature therapy I offer in Northamptonshire could take the form of mindfulness exercises, walking and talking or just sitting in nature. Sessions and routes may vary from week to week, or there may be a combination of working inside and out.
I have lived in the countryside all my life and love being outdoors. You don’t even need to head to the countryside as there are plenty of green spaces in towns and cities where you can engage with nature. For me personally, I love the therapeutic effects of being outside, or moving through the air. I find it liberating to go for a walk when something is playing on my mind and am inspired by the latin phrase, ‘solvitur ambulando’ which, loosely translated, means ‘it is solved by walking’.
For an informal chat about how nature therapy in Northamptonshire could help you, call me on 07927 340051