I mainly coach leaders in the great outdoors, immersed in nature. Not in glass corporate vacuums. I get leaders to reflect on the space they find themselves in, for experiential and multi sensory experience. To stop, observe, breath differently, think differently and challenge what the meaning and purpose is in all that they do in life and business. Its really important to develop mentally tough and wellbeing leaders, by using the resilient skills that nature has. For example, when you touch leaves or trees then you soak in Photoncydes, which help your immune system. So tree hugging is an excellent wellbeing opportunity.
The biophilia hypothesis also called BET suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. The term “biophilia” means “love of life or living systems.” The human innate connection with nature. It was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. He proposed the possibility that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology. Unlike phobias, which are the aversions and fears that people have of things in their environment, philias are the attractions and positive feelings that people have toward organisms, species, habitats, processes and objects in their natural surroundings.
Aristotle was one of many to put forward a concept that could be summarized as “love of life”. Diving into the term philia, or friendship, Aristotle evokes the idea of reciprocity and how friendships are beneficial to both parties in more than just one way, but especially in the way of happiness. Being in nature nourishes the body, mind, heart and spirit. When connected with nature, willingness, capacity and the ability to learn is significantly increased. Throughout evolution our lives have been totally interconnected with the rest of the natural world. We are sadly disconnecting from the physical as the planet fails.
Kaplan 1993 said exposure to nature leads to improved cognitive functioning and mental well-being. Atchley 2012 said being immersed in nature and disconnected from multi-media and technology increases creative problem solving ability by 50%. Kaplan – found that people concentrate better after ‘nature time’. The concept of Attention Restoration Therapy (ART) explains this.
Nature is full of intriguing stimuli which gain our attention without having to actively process information or control our responses. Our brain is still stimulated while we are relaxed. In sensory noise environments, we have to decide where our attention should be directed and we cant relax. It requires no effort to focus and reflect on soft fascinations. Clouds, leaves rustling, the wind, water bubbling – this is effortless attention. We have evolved to function best in natures rich surroundings.Nature is complex. Nature is a metaphor. Nature has spent millions of years overcoming problems. We learn by looking at natures solutions – biomimicry. Einstein said “look deep into nature and you will understand everything better”. Nature sharpens our senses, focuses our thinking, opens our hearts and soothes our spirits. There is a rhythm to walking that frees the mind.
Contact me to book a WALKING WITH LEADERS day for a unique experience to change your leadership life. Go off map for day. No smart phones. No technology. Just your thinking and walking shoes.
“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude”. William James