Columbia River Gorge from Beacon Rock
A well-earned outdoor view following an invigorating hike.

Health Benefits of Nature & the Outdoors: Ecotherapy & Ecocoaching

Do you want to have more movement your life, lower your stress levels, enhance mindfulness and concentration, and experience more connection? Getting out into nature, and really taking the time to experience it, has many benefits.

Ecotherapy, discussed lightheartedly in the below video from The Atlantic, is just one way of doing this. For a number of years, professionals have been designing innovative ways of getting people outdoors to improve their well being. Not only in the San Francisco area, as the video discusses, but in a number of other cities as well–Portland, Pittsburgh, and Boulder, just to name a few.

When my life coaching clients voice the above desires, the strategies we co-create often involve getting outside and engaging in nature-based activities. Perhaps one could call this ecocoaching. They often report great benefits such as having fun and feeling soothed, refreshed, stimulated, and recharged. While this is not surprising, we don’t always think of these things on a daily basis. Especially if we live in locations where even getting to a reasonably sized park may take a bit of effort.

It’s only within the last few generations–a tiny blip in the thousands of years for which humans have been present on Earth–that our lifestyles have evolved to include cubicles, laptops, artificial lighting, and pavement. These developments add conveniences but also disconnect us from the rhythms of nature.

While we have rapidly innovated ways to control the world around us, our emotional and spiritual needs for nature, developed over millennia, are still very much the same.

What are three small actions you can take to experience the outdoors over the next week? How might doing this improve your health and well being?

The above photo of the Columbia River Gorge, by the way, also appears in my book on gratitude, More Than a Sidewalk to Sleep On.

Dave welcomes phone-based life, career, and transition coaching clients from around the world.

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