The latest thing to go al fresco? Therapy


In our fast-paced world, it’s not hard to believe we spend 93% of our time indoors, largely staring at screens. That’s why making the most of outdoor moments – and incorporating them into our routine where possible – is crucial. Enter Nature Therapy – a proven way to reconnect with nature and find relief from life’s daily challenges. ​

You know that uplifting feeling you get when you spend time outdoors? It’s more than just a subjective feeling. It’s scientifically proven. Nature significantly contributes to your wellbeing, mood, creativity, thinking skills, resilience, quality of sleep, and even immunity. Nature Therapy combines the benefits of therapy with the positive effects of being outdoors. While traditional therapy might seem daunting, especially for first-timers, taking it outside makes it more approachable. Walking side-by-side in a less intimidating setting encourages deeper conversations and more effective sessions. 

Eco-Psychologists enhance the experience further by integrating coaching and mindfulness. Unlike traditional therapy primarily sought during tough times, Nature Therapy aims to boost your mental fitness, promoting your overall well being beyond only addressing challenges. So, what can this new discipline do for us? 

Firstly, Nature Therapy helps calm an overactive mind and reduce stress. Nature draws your attention outward, easing internal worries and allowing you to unwind. Additionally, the scents released by trees provide a form of natural aromatherapy – lowering cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body. 

Being outdoors offers a rare chance to pause and reflect. Personal growth doesn’t happen alone, or by staring at a screen. Nature Therapy can help boost your self-acceptance, rediscover your values, establish a clear sense of identity, and set achievable goals. It's also one of the most sustainable wellness practices available. The more we understand and identify with nature, the greater our appreciation and the stronger our resolve to protect it. 

And last, but not least, taking a break from your screen and heading out into nature can help you think more creatively. Nature Therapy provides the perfect environment to let your imagination run wild and generate fresh ideas. Whether work-related or a chance to contemplate life or love from a different perspective, Nature Therapy can be your think tank. 

The benefits extend to children, too. Encouraging kids to practise mindfulness in nature can enhance their memory, focus, and attention. Traditional mindfulness can be challenging, especially for younger children who struggle to sit still. Mindfulness in nature makes them more aware of their thoughts and feelings, helping them self-soothe and manage stress. It’s a chance to nurture their imagination, as ordinary things in nature become magical. 

Can you do it alone? Any time spent in nature is beneficial, but having a qualified therapist with you can enhance those wellness advantages, help you think more clearly, and guide you in using the outdoors to feel happier and healthier. 

Amy Steadman is an Eco-Psychologist and Founder of Wellbeing in Nature. She hosts immersive outdoor retreats, group workshops, and 1:1 sessions throughout the UK.