Getting into nature

The sun has gone down, the wind is up, and the rain keeps falling, and yet we are still here, still alive and part of the bigger picture. For many of us who are experiencing difficulties in our lives, be they work-related, involving a relationship, health or other issues, getting into nature can be such a helpful experience. But why is this the case? Here are just a few possible reasons.



Many of us are more sensitive than we realise. In our current modern-day life, we are often expected to get on with life, the city, rush hour, the office politics, not to mention the everyday technology we use today. All this interference, although possible to take in our stride, can put unconscious pressure on us. We get up in the morning, do the day, and come home exhausted, asking ourselves "why?", as it was just another day at work.

Getting away

It’s not until we step away, away from the roads, traffic, phone, email, and into that beautiful peaceful green countryside - ahh the peace! The sound of birds, the crickets, and the smell of freshly cut grass. Alright, it’s not summer! So it might even be the howling wind and even the rain that reminds us that we share this world, that we are part of a bigger existence - that we belong.

Seeing the bigger picture

As we give ourselves time to ponder through nature, we see our worries and concerns amidst the bigger picture. Have you ever looked at an old tree, maybe an old oak, talked to it and told it your problems? Have you then maybe wondered how many people have touched it, how many others have shared their thoughts, feelings, and worries with the same tree? This can be an amazing experience. The tree seems to just listen. Maybe you sense the tree has seen it and heard it all before, and maybe witnessed the resolutions of many others who have overcome their problems after talking them through with the tree. The tree does not dismiss, does not ignore, and does not try to advise either, knowing that you know your own story and journey best. The tree is wise enough to just listen. As you talk, the thoughts and feelings come, and eventually you can see the bigger picture and maybe your resolution and peace.

Hidden metaphors

Have you sat down by the tree and shared your worries, or maybe watched the clouds go by, heard the wind howl, then listened to it slow down, become still, just for a moment, hush… hush…hush...

Have you noticed that, as you watch, sometimes there can be amazing moments of what some might call synchronicity? Is this just coincidence or has it meaning? Whatever you feel, many would agree that nature offers a fascinating, rich resource of metaphor, metaphor we can take and use as a guide for our own well-being. Like the man whose wife left him and thought he could never find connection again.

When walking in nature, he eventually saw a very personal message within the robin, on the tree, who looked at him and looked again, just at him, him alone. Although this for some may seem trivial, this man felt he was still important in some way; he truly felt it at that moment, and it was that feeling that changed a lot for him. Like the woman who watched the stream tumble over the stones over days and weeks and saw how it changed with the seasons. On the first few days she was there, she wanted to run away from life, as she could not see where her life was going from this point, having raised her family and seen them all leave home. However, after seeing the stream continue to run, to move forward, some days all dry and barely there, and other days renewed and refreshed after the rain, it reminded her of the way life can be, how it changes but often continues with new important chapters. These special metaphors within nature can be such messages that can be truly felt as well as rationalised.

Counselling and nature

The therapeutic support gained in counselling can be beautifully enhanced when taken out of the therapy room and bought into the bigger world of nature. Nature, with its peace, sensitivity, its message of the bigger picture and its rich metaphor, can add another very valuable layer to counselling and talking therapy.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Brighton, East Sussex, BN1
Written by Penny Wright, Registered MBACP
Brighton, East Sussex, BN1

My name is Penny. I am an integrative counsellor (registered MBACP)

As well as traditional counselling within the counselling room I offer Walk and Talk Counselling, within beautiful nature, on a lovely rural farm in Sussex or within an easily accessible countryside environment close to Brighton. Please phone 07584201837 to find out more.

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