by Alice Allen
In material terms, many of us in the Western world are far wealthier than our predecessors. We enjoy unprecedented luxuries and easeful technological advances. Yet alongside these gains, we have seen rising levels of anxiety, isolation and depression. Stress has become a 21st century health epidemic (WHO) and many cite their workplace as a source. Employee wellbeing programs are therefore a vital, enriching and proactive way to promote the health and productivity of your team.
In a moment, close your eyes and imagine yourself standing in front of a beautiful view, somewhere you feel relaxed and at peace…
Maybe you’re staring out over a crystalline ocean or the dusky waters of a tea-tree lake… a lush expanse of forest or a mountain range framed by crisp blue skies. Whatever the vision, the odds are that your mind’s eye has painted you in nature. And there is a reason for that.
Gone Bush draws on growing research that recognises the power of nature to boost our physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing in the face of workplace stress. Many of us have lost our primal connection with the natural environment and as a result we forfeit the many benefits it provides. Our guides and facilitators are uniquely positioned to equip your team with the tools for a more holistic vision of employee health.
In the Aboriginal way, the greatest teachers are the birds and the animals and nature. If we go and sit still in the bush that’s when we’ll get our greatest learning. – Uncle Paul Callaghan, Lead Facilitator
Nature is my church. What I mean by that is that I’ve had many people over the years have almost a profound change in the way they live their lives, by having that time to experience nature. – Luke Christiansen, Lead Guide
How the Bush Boosts Workplace Wellbeing
Performance – being in nature has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps to silence the noise of our hyper busy minds. It can soften hardwired societal constructs, shift expectations and perspectives and improve mood. Good mental health is essential for peak performance.
Resilience – breathing fresh air has a positive impact on our respiratory system. Natural light has a therapeutic effect on stress, boosts vitamin D and supports immune function, all key ingredients for workplace wellness.
Renewal – spending time in the outdoors allows us to experience “soft focus”, a relaxed and effortless form of attention that has a refreshing effect on our cognitive function, emotions and memory.
Refocus – Immersion in nature heightens our awareness, perception, connectivity and appreciation for what is around us. It allows us to focus mentally with greater clarity – and physically has been shown to improve and protect eyesight.
Integration – when we are immersed in nature we feel part of a system, rather than separate from it. Our sensory experience of the natural world increases mindfulness and enhances our capacity for empathy and connection to each other and the world around us.
Purpose – When we experience ourselves as part of nature, we develop a greater sense of responsibility for our impact, kinship and custodianship for the natural world. A fundamental outcome at a time when the health of the planet, our only habitat, is at stake.
“Very appropriate to our wellness-mindfulness retreat. Loved it - all of it! Highly recommend this professional team - a great blend of personalities and a wealth of experience - welcoming, approachable and INSPIRING” - Anonymous Participant from Gone Bush program for St Mary’s Primary Catholic School leaders in Rainbow Beach, QLD
“I love the outdoors, so it was a great place for retreat. Learnt great indigenous stories and info on flora and fauna. Mindfulness was great in outdoors.” - Tiff Van Der Weide Participant from Gone Bush program for St Mary’s Primary Catholic School leaders in Rainbow Beach, QLD “I loved it. It was a fabulous experience I found it so beneficial both personally and professionally. The Gone Bush facilitators were amazing. I feel blessed to have been part of this experience” - Anonymous Participant from Gone Bush program for St Mary’s Primary Catholic School leaders in Rainbow Beach, QLD
Interested in creating wellbeing experiences in nature for your community or organisation?
Drop us a line and get in touch.