What is Eco Psychology? Sometimes people ask me how Nature Based Practices and Eco Psychology is any different from going for a regular walk.
As the saying goes it not what you do but the way that do it….for many of us our modus operandi; our default way of being, relies on thinking, planning, doing and the notion of getting somewhere, often when we go outdoors, we often continue in this same mind set. While we all benefit from the fresh air and exercise if we move through nature too quickly and remain in our analytical mind, we can miss out on the incredible benefits of nature connection.
In my work as a nature based coach, I support people to consciously deepen their relationship to nature not only for pleasure and enjoyment but also for insight and guidance. As we walk, talk and sit outdoors, I witness people naturally relaxing and unwinding in nature, by consciously becoming mindful of nature not just as a backdrop but as a sensory experience one become more deeply connected to nature in the moment. When this happens, we can work together to see how nature mirrors our experience and reflect upon how this informs our life. People often feel energised and find a sense clarity, focus and purpose leading to a breakthrough moment on issues that have felt confusing or intractable. By integrating this experience into everyday life people experience a renewed sense of vigour and direction, and an ability to overcome problems and dilemmas more easily.
When we are confronted with life changing challenges such as illness, bereavement, relationship break down, relearning and remembering that we are part of something bigger than ourselves that we are intrinsically part of natural world and its processes gives us strength and wisdom. We no longer have to know everything and can relate our experience to the natural cycles of growth, rest, decay and rebirth, understating life in this way can help us find solace and peace to withstand challenges. Listening what nature has to tell us we can learn lessons that apply to our everyday life as well as the bigger questions.
Experiencing eco-psychology and starting your own nature based practice can begin with the simple step of just taking you time to go outdoors and deliberately slowing down, stopping, noticing your breathing and consciously connecting with your senses.
To learn more ways to connect with the natural world read; Five Pathways To Nature Connectedness
To join me for a taste of ecopsychology in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire Medicine Walk.