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Unlocking the Power of Nature-Based Therapy: A Guide to Boosting Self-Esteem and Confidence

Understanding the key to mastering self-esteem and confidence is a struggle that many people are familiar with. Confidence makes you more attractive and trustworthy to others, but we sometimes feel stuck or lost when looking at ourselves in the mirror.

It is expected to feel self-doubt from time to time. Still, if you’re finding it increasingly difficult to avoid a negative perception of yourself, you may be surprised that the solution to your self-woe could be on the other side of your front door.

Nature-based therapy has been around for decades and is a holistic therapy that combines therapeutic practice with the natural environment. We will explore the nature behind this type of therapy and how immersing yourself outdoors could increase confidence and self-esteem and improve overall mental and physical health.

What is Nature-Based Therapy?

Nature-based therapy, also known as ecotherapy, is a therapeutic approach that involves engaging with the environment or natural world to promote physical and mental healing and wellness as well as self-esteem and confidence.

In the 1980s, research was conducted on the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, which combines an emphasis on mindfulness of the five senses and immersion into nature.

The research supported the hypothesis that exposure to nature under a therapeutic approach benefits mood and stress, mental relaxation, and other aspects of health and wellbeing, such as physical health.

Understanding the Significance of Mental Well-Being

In today’s society, people increasingly undergo sudden lifestyle, social, and environmental shifts that may come about due to starting a new job or moving to a new location.

Alongside these types of rapid changes that have become increasingly commonplace as our world becomes more complex, connected, and globalized is the amount of stressors that exist and threaten mental health, well-being, and esteem.

When your mental well-being is threatened, whether by chronic or acute stress, drug or alcohol misuse, mental health disorders, other struggles, or some intricate combination of issues, it is vital to understand and address what is affecting your mental well-being.

So why is mental well-being important? A negative view of yourself can impact your decisions, your motivation to achieve your goals, and your relationships. 

A lack of confidence and self-esteem may make it difficult to know what choices to make or to make choices at all. Low self-esteem can additionally impact your relationships because you may focus too heavily on the negative.

In contrast, those with healthy self-esteem are confident with their decisions, can express their need, and set healthy boundaries while not dwelling or focusing on negative memories or interactions.

nature based therapy

How Nature-Based Therapy Helps Boost Confidence and Self-Esteem

Anyone can improve their confidence and self-esteem, although it may take more work and focus. An excellent beginning to boosting your confidence and self-esteem is changing your perspective, as getting stuck in a negative mindset can make it difficult to see the qualities and aspects of yourself you should be confident about.

A great way to change your perspective is through therapy. With nature-based treatment, the benefit is twofold because you receive direction and guidance from a therapist in an environment that has proven healing, calming, and beneficial positive self-reflection.

There are various types of nature-based therapy, including:

  • Wilderness Therapy is a type of experiential therapy that involves immersing yourself in the natural world and can be an effective treatment option for adolescents, young adults, couples, and families. Wilderness therapy often involves learning and developing outdoor skills and participating in outside activities such as fire-building, shelter-making, tying knots, and much more. Engaging in these activities and skills in a wilderness setting can build confidence and self-esteem and gain experience in other areas, such as group communication and leadership skills.
  • Horticulture Therapy is a therapeutic practice in a gardening environment. It is widely accepted as an effective form of therapy for those suffering from a wide range of mental health disorders, substance abuse, and other issues, such as those who suffer from past traumas. Horticultural therapy involves learning and caring for plants and other plant-based activities. This nature-based therapy is great for socialization, healing, and relaxation for people of all ages and backgrounds. Horticulture therapy could be especially beneficial for you if you live in a city where you don’t have convenient access to a wilderness or similar outdoor space.
  • Adventure Therapy is similar to wilderness therapy but specifically entails being in an adventure setting with a mental health professional. An adventure setting can be indoors or outdoors, involving rock climbing, hiking, biking, ropes courses, and cooperative and team-building games. Adventure therapy is beneficial if seeking a therapeutic experience in a more active and engaging environment. This type of therapy is great if you’re seeking to better your socialization and outdoor skills.
  • Animal-assisted Therapy involves interacting with animals to achieve healing and wellness. This therapeutic option hones in on the specific animal-human connection and develops that unique connection. Common animals in an animal therapy environment include horses, dogs, birds, and cats. Animal therapy may be a good fit for you if you seek to form a deeper relationship with animals, to be more active, or to increase the amount of time you spend outside to better your mood and decrease feelings of loneliness.
  • Art and Crafts in nature combine creative thinking with the unique healing and wellness of the environment. Some standard art therapy practices include taking objects from your environment, such as fallen leaves, twigs, and pinecones, incorporating them into your art, and using them to craft something new. Art therapy with nature may benefit you if you value art as a form of reflective healing.

All these types of nature-based therapies can be very beneficial because they involve instructors who are well-versed in the relationship between treatment as a method for improving healing and wellness on the one hand and nature as a vehicle for achieving your therapeutic goals on the other.

These nature-based therapies are holistic and can benefit many people who engage in them. For some, they are most helpful as complementary alongside other evidence-based treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapies.

Get on the Path to Holistic Healing

The Summit Wellness Group can help you or a loved one achieve a higher quality of life. Our comprehensive and individualized treatment plans have been carefully crafted to help patients discover the path to recovery. Let us help you find the right fit for your treatment. Call us at (770) 824-3698 or complete our contact form.

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