How Can Spending Time in Nature Help You…Feel More Confident


This article is part of our How Can Spending Time in Nature Help You series.

Nature has a profound effect on us – not just our sense of wellbeing but our survival. We are in a time where our connection to nature is needed more than ever. If we feel a greater connection to nature and the impact it has on us, we can have a more positive impact when it comes to our sense of compassion for the world around us. Simply put, you protect what you love. Within this series, our aim is to help you develop more of an understanding about the impact nature can have on us, why that’s important for our wellbeing and the way we interact with the spaces around us.

How Can Spending Time in Nature Help You…Feel More Confident - Editorial Graphic

Constant research shows that spending time in certain environments can either lower or increase stress levels: we are extremely impacted by the places that we spend our time. What you’re seeing, hearing, or doing can not only change your mood, but also have an impact on how your immune and nervous systems are working. Taken further, it can have an impact on your overall wellbeing, sense of self and in turn, confidence levels.

The connection between the time we spend in nature and how we feel about ourselves has long been researched and the clear impact it can have on our mental health is profound. You only have to spend a short amount of time outdoors in nature to start feeling the benefits; within minutes you can be experiencing a lower heart rate and slower, more calm breathing. But how can spending time in nature have a positive impact on our confidence levels?

When we remove ourselves from some of the pressures of our day to day lives and are connected more to the moment we’re experiencing, we can start to develop a sense of self that is away from our perceived flaws or societal conditioning. In many ways, it can help us to connect to who we are away from perceptions. However, it can also be about finding a whole cascade of things that exist outside of your comfort zone says keen adventurer, Michelle Ellison, “The more time I spent in nature, the more confidence I started to have in other areas of my life too. It led to me learning so many new skills, creating wonderful new friendships, being offered promotions at work because I was showing up differently and giving me the confidence to be more me.” The sense of confidence we can accrue from spending time in nature can have a significant impact on our daily lives too.

Aside from the obvious, spending time in nature can also help us have more of a sense of confidence when it comes to making decisions in our lives too. An adventure in nature is a great opportunity to see just how much putting your mind to something can have a big impact, “I have found an inner confidence that I never had before and led me to a feeling of, ‘well if I can do that, then I can give anything a go” says Michelle.

So how can you consciously look to find a greater sense of confidence with your time spent in nature? Below are three key ideas to think about when it comes to using your time in nature to develop a greater sense of confidence:

Allow yourself to be present

When we are connected to the moment, it isn’t possible to be anxious, as anxiety only exists when we think about the future. Spending time in nature can be a great opportunity to allow us to be in the present moment by observing what is happening around you. Feeling your feet touch the ground, feeling the air and how it feels on your skin. Counting your breaths and consciously breathing in and out. When you remove a lot of the pressures of daily life, even just for 30 minutes or an hour at a time, it can let us have a break from the things that we think we should be and allows us the space to just be ourselves. Spending time in nature can give you that peace and quiet to start quantifying your interests, personal tastes and who you are as a person, which can help you have a greater sense of self confidence and assuredness all round.

Learn a new skill or take on a new hobby

Learning to do something new in the outdoors can be an amazing way to build confidence and have fun whilst doing it. It can be an opportunity to try something away from the need to know you’ll succeed before you’ve even tried, which is one of the main reasons many of us refrain from trying new things in the first place. Maybe its via ferrata, paddle boarding or surfing. Maybe it’s being able to do multi day hikes. Whatever it is that interests you outside, starting off small, taking baby steps and being mindful of that journey can start to give you the proof that you can do things that you maybe didn’t think you could. This can have a significant impact away of your time in nature also – giving you proof that when you face tough challenges, or even just something new, that you have the ability to do things you set your mind to.

Be consistent

When we’re thinking about the mental health benefits and confidence increases that spending time in nature can have – the more time you can spend outside, the more you’ll feel the benefits. It doesn’t need to be complicated though, and it’s about making time for nature in a way that feels accessible and achievable for you. If you only have space for a couple of 30 minute walks a week – that is absolutely better than nothing and you’ll still feel the benefits in a measurable way. Don’t let the perceived amount of time you think you should be spending doing something, put you off from doing it the realistic amount it is possible for you.