The benefits to mental health and wellbeing from being in nature are well-known and include increased resilience and spiritual wellbeing, greater emotion regulation and the ability to relax, as well as reduced depression, anxiety, and stress. Other benefits include deepening life meaning.
My nature connection offerings consist of one-day explorations in different locations in Northumberland, and sometimes in the Trossachs and Cairngorms. With nature as companion, these explorations provide opportunities to enter more fully into “conversation” and connection with nature, and reflect on your life meaning and journey. Informed by research and theory into the benefits of time in nature, and factors which help increase nature connection, the format of the days consist of a balance of reflective walking (mostly without conversation), self-guided explorations, and sitting conversations. But most importantly, the aim of the days is nature connection rather than simply walk through. Facilitation is informed by my background in psychotherapy, psychology and depth psychology.
Wilson. M. (2020). Nature connection and meaning in life in the Northumberland National Park: An inductive reflexive thematic analysis. Derby University: unpublished MSc Project.
This study suggests ways nature connection may increase meaning in life, especially from being immersed in areas high in greenness and biodiversity. The study Abstract is available on the Breamish Valley community website, and a summary article of the study can be found in John Muir Trust’s journal (pages 30-31).
Wilson, M. (2012). Coming to our senses: An intuitive inquiry into the transformative effects of nature connection. Liverpool John Moore University: unpublished MSc Project. pdf summary of results.