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Why people are prescribing nature for burnout - By Dawn Breslin

Posted 127 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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Nature is instrumental for our wellbeing, and people report feeling significantly happier outdoors than they do indoors. Despite this, we are spending less and less time in nature and it is playing a smaller role in our cultural landscape.

A study from the London Business School and University Wisconsin found that references to nature have even decreased in English-language books, songs, and films since the 1950s. Furthermore, the average person in the UK spends 22 hours indoors, equating to around 90% of their day, according to Opinium. This lack of nature is having a profound effect on our health, as burnout, depression, anxiety and stress are becoming global concerns. However, people are starting to notice the disconnect between nature and our wellbeing and are starting to prescribe it to help us realign. 

Prescribing nature 

Burnout and stress are fast becoming epidemics in the UK, and across the globe. With 74% of UK adults reporting that they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope due to stress. The causes are manifold and including a combination of rising global competition, digital devices and polarising rhetoric. Many of us are living our lives through our devices – these worlds offer portals into exciting worlds of distraction and possibility however these other worlds don’t hold the natural pulse of life and the elixir that brings us back into wellness and balance. However, many health professionals have found that nature can help us realign and recover.  

In 2018, for example, the National Health Service Shetland in Scotland launched a leaflet to help treat a range of afflictions, including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression through a nature prescription. The doctors and nurses involved were urged to hand out pamphlets that describe the health benefits of being outdoors, as well as providing patients with specific activities that they can engage with for every month of the year. Similarly, Professor Liisa Tyrväinen and her team of the Natural Resources Institute Finland recommend a minimum nature dose of 5 hours a month to help with depression. However, prescribing nature isn’t just for nurses and doctors, coaches are able to help bring nature into their practice as well. 

Coaching and nature 

Nature opens us up to wonder. The natural world is awesome and inspiring. One moment of awe can change the landscape of our inner world for days, months or even years. By spending time in nature we are nurturing our inner world and our deeper wellbeing. When the mind is occupied we lose connection with the body and senses – this makes us feel ungrounded.

As someone who has experienced burn-out first hand, I know the powerful benefits that realignment and nature can have on people. My Harmonizing Coaching programme is designed to deliver the mindset and daily habits to help human beings live sustainable, deeply fulfilling and enjoyable lives. It teaches us how to slow down in order to speed up. It helps us balance our desire for money, power and possession with our heart’s desire to honour what’s really important to us. Harmonizing Coaching helps us to make choices that will support us to grow and thrive as fulfilled, energises and inspired human beings. The senses are also the gateway to the soul, by spending time in nature we become more aligned with our deeper more intuitive thoughts and feelings about life.    

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