The Benefits Of Outdoor Coaching
Moving the coaching conversation out of the usual four walls (and off the screen!) into nature has a surprising number of benefits!
The positive effects of spending time in nature on our mental and physical wellbeing have long been researched and promoted by the field of Positive Psychology:
Physical benefits include a slowing down of the heart rate, lowering of blood pressure and cortisol rates (Twohig-Bennett & Jones, 2018).
Our mental wellbeing benefits too. There is evidence that suggests that the more we feel connected to nature, the more we can boost our eudaimonic wellbeing, that feeling that comes with having a sense of purpose and meaning in life (Pritchard, Richardson, Sheffield & McEwan, 2019).
Both effects have a direct impact on the coachee: clients feel less stressed and report a better mood after a coaching session in nature (Burn & Watson, 2021).
One of the most powerful effects of coaching outdoors is the way it connects the person with their environment. It allows us to bring in a wider perspective beyond our personal experience, reminding us how we are part of a larger world and ecosystem. This can be particularly potent for clients who feel stuck, or are struggling to make time for themselves due to high demands at work and in life.
In my outdoor practice, I see clients making new connections with more ease, embracing wider perspectives and working with and through metaphors that are present in nature. I have found outdoor coaching conversations to have a different quality, they have more depth and promote a greater openness to change. My clients leave outdoor sessions with a sense of eager excitement, feeling alive and ready to embrace whatever challenge they are facing.
I encourage you to give outdoor coaching a go with your clients! Ireland provides so many opportunities for exploring in nature. From parks, to greenways, to beaches and forests, I am sure you have a great coaching space right at your doorstep!
The original article can be found here: https://claudiageratz.com/blog/the-benefits-of-being-in-nature
If you are an outdoor coach or would like to add this to your portfolio, feel free to contact Claudia. She is looking to build an Irish working group to promote outdoor coaching, and to share best practices and experiences.
Claudia is a Positive Psychology Coach working with clients in career transitions, aspiring and established leaders, entrepreneurs and freelancers. She also builds science-backed corporate wellbeing programmes for remote teams.