Divorcing ourselves from nature and spending so much time indoors can have a dramatic impact on your mental health and well-being. Research can reveal that the environment were we were raised, the places were we work and the venues we frequent and the people in our lives can increase or decrease our levels of stress. What you see , do, hear and think from the moment you awake until the time you close your eyes at the end of your day can have a dramatic effect not only on your mental heath and mood but also on your immune system and your sleep

The stress that we encounter in our day to day lives can bring up feelings of anxiousness, sadness ,loneliness and helplessness  to name but a few. When we feel this way our heart rate can increase and our muscles contract and tighten as we subconsciously prepare ourselves from the onslaught of the day.

Even though you may have distanced yourself from nature, nature and Spirit are always available to us. More and more Therapists ,  Shamanic and Energy healers are offering nature therapy and to their clients.  By making a conscious decision to spend even a little time in nature, you can embrace numerous benefits that will increase your  awareness,and how you feel about yourself and your life . Engaging in Nature therapy will have an immense benefit for your mind, your body and your spirit.

Studies have shown that by being with and  witnessing her cycles nature does have an effect on levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a key stress hormone. Furthermore the sights, sounds and silence in nature can have a relaxing effect on the body,mind and nervous system as it slows the heart rate, regulates breathing patterns and connects us to balance and harmony within. Nature also gives us a Prana boost. Prana is the life force that sustains all of life. Breathing deeply whilst in nature provides us with an abundant supply of Prana which helps to purify and energise your immune system.

Many of my clients like to meet me by the beach, the local parks and woodland . They inform that as they walk to the rhythm of nature they feel more carefree as they free associate about their problems. They have stated more than once that there is less pressure on them to find the answers to their difficulties and they can talk more freely when the therapist is not looking at them in a face to face manner but rather is just walking alongside them on their journey.

Other clients  have reported that Nature therapy can be quite spiritual in nature and that the wildlife and the animals who frequent the natural world often have a message for them – a key they say which resolves the issue  they presented with

Following are a number of examples from clients who benefited from the wisdom and spirituality of nature nature.

The first example is from a woman who wanted her adolescent to take more charge of his life . The mother knew it was time to let him off into the real world yet was fearful as she wondered if he could cope alone so she kept rescuing him when what he needed was to take responsibility  Hours of sessions in my clinic in Dublin could not shift the mother to let go of the reins , despite knowing that she had to for him to grow. So I suggested that we meet by the sea for a nature session . This is her experience.

“One day I was out walking along the cliffs with Gerard . As we walked along the cliff face talking about my problems I heard the squak of Seagulls on the rock face of the cliffs below. As I looked at the gulls I noticed a mother gull screaming at her chick. The chick responded by screaming in protest back to the mother. Suddenly the mother pushed the chick from the nest on the rock with her beak to the cold water below. As I watched the chick plummet to the sea I held my breath sure she would crash onto the waves and rocks below. Suddenly the young gull flapped her wings and began to soar away from the seas to the rocks above . The chick returned to the rock where the mother was still perched she screeched at the mother who screeched in return before the chick flew off once more.

“From this engagement with the gulls,  spirit and nature I knew instinctively that my son would be alright even if he did become upset from time to time. It was time for him to venture out to the world”

 This example shows that whilst walking and engaging  in nature you will get a different perspective on your problems as you see how small they can seem in comparison to the magnitude of all of life around you.

Another case that comes to mind was of a man who wanted to start his own business. During a counselling session in my office he reported that all of his life he had played it safe in his relationships , with friends and with work he had settled for second best . He knew he deserved better but was afraid to risk going it alone preferring to play safe This  is his experience

“When we met in Marlay Park in Dublin, Gerard suggested that we go for a walk in the woods . We stopped at a clearing with fallen down trees . Gerard asked me to focus on what I wanted and to ask Nature to see me and assist me with my Dilemma . Before I closed my eyes I saw a man walking his dog off in the far distance . I closed my eyes and asked Nature for guidance. When I opened my eyes I saw this  dog had escaped his owner and was running towards me . When he reached me he jumped up on me started to lick me and then ran away back to his owner.”

“As the dog left I noticed that he still had his lead on his collar . Nature had seen me and delivered her message to me . Let yourself off the leash “.

Spirit & Nature will always bring clarity to confusion and allow you to accept yourself as a unique being, thus building self esteem and self confidence  . Picture the birds in the forest chirping at Dawn not caring who hears them or what they sing. They are not in competition with one another just expressing themselves just as they are : As  Henry Van Dyke Stated : “Use what talents you possess , The woods would be very silent  if no birds sang there except those who sang best”.

Spirit resides in nature , there you will find all the answers to your concerns . From observing my own well-being and  witnessing many experiences with clients in Nature . I can say that Nature Heals, Nature Relieves and Nature Restores the metal health of those who seek her out

Gerard McNevin

Psychotherapist & Shmanic Healer

Author – The Wisdom Keeper. Sacred Teachings from Nature for Living a Balanced & Aware Life