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Harness the Power of Nature for Personal Growth with Erja Järvelä

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By Sofia Health Staff on May, 30 2024
Harness the Power of Nature for Personal Growthwith Erja Järvelä

Meet Erja, a former corporate professional turned holistic well-being advocate and founder of Mixing Nuts. After 16 years in the corporate world, Erja sought a more fulfilling path and began studying holistic well-being and environmental issues. She now helps others discover their inner strength and authentic voice through various techniques, including forest therapy as a certified Metsämieli instructor.  Join us as Erja shares his expertise in this exclusive interview with Sofia Health. 

What is "Forest Mind" coaching, and how does it support personal growth and wellness?

Forest Mind, born in the tranquil landscapes of Finland, celebrates a decade of intertwining nature's restorative essence with the complexities of the human mind. Offering a diverse array of over 150 exercises, this method extends a gentle hand towards personal growth and well-being, accessible online or amidst the serene embrace of urban green spaces or expansive forests.

While it's not labeled as therapy, Forest Mind's profound yet accessible practices touch upon mindfulness, sensory immersion, and introspection, empowering individuals to navigate challenges and cultivate resilience. From coaches to healthcare professionals, educators to wilderness guides, Forest Mind beckons all to reconnect with nature's wisdom, inviting them to embrace moments of solace, inspiration, and growth amidst the harmonious symphony of the natural world.

What conditions or issues can “Forest Mind” effectively address?

Forest Mind coaching provides a comprehensive approach to well-being by incorporating the established benefits of spending time in nature with personalized coaching techniques. This method caters to a broad spectrum of needs, from stress management and overcoming overwhelm to fostering self-expression and promoting overall well-being. The natural environment creates a sense of ease and openness, which can be particularly helpful for those struggling to articulate themselves or feeling stuck. Furthermore, Forest Mind coaching is grounded in scientific research demonstrating the positive impact of nature on stress reduction, blood pressure regulation, and the release of mood-boosting hormones. Ultimately, this approach harnesses the restorative power of nature to support individuals in achieving improved mental and physical health.

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How long of exposure to nature is necessary to observe positive effects?

Research suggests that as little as 10 minutes spent in nature can lead to notable physiological benefits, such as lowered blood pressure and pulse. Moreover, an hour spent outdoors has been shown to enhance attention span. Techniques to strengthen one's bond with nature and amplify its influence involve engaging all senses, allowing individuals to fully experience and connect with the natural environment. By consciously immersing oneself in nature and utilizing exercises that expand sensory perception, individuals can deepen their connection with the natural world, potentially reaping even greater benefits.


So what techniques can an individual employ to strengthen their bond with nature and amplify its influence?

To strengthen their bond with nature and amplify its influence, individuals can employ techniques that engage all their senses, as you mentioned. By expanding our sensory experiences in nature—smelling, tasting, touching, and fully immersing ourselves in the natural environment—we can deepen our connection with it. These exercises enable us to feel a stronger connection with nature and amplify its effects on our well-being. While the scientific evidence may not explicitly quantify the impact, giving oneself time and patience to engage in these practices can undoubtedly strengthen the bond with nature. Ultimately, by stopping and consciously experiencing nature through all our senses, we can better address different issues and seek the benefits that nature offers. Opening our senses and embracing the full sensory experience of nature is key to amplifying its influence on our lives.


Could you elaborate on the concept of virtual nature within your practice?

Integrating virtual nature into our practice has shown promising results. Recent Finnish research indicates that exposure to virtual nature, such as images or videos with accompanying sounds, can produce physiological benefits akin to real nature, including lowered blood pressure and pulse. While I haven't yet employed virtual nature with clients, recognizing its potential, especially for those unable to access outdoor environments, is significant. Exploring options like nature-themed sound rooms or sensory experiences indoors, such as feeling moss or sand, presents opportunities to enhance well-being in various settings. Incorporating nature into healing methods, including ecotherapy, aligns with our forest mind approach, offering a holistic approach to coaching sessions.


How do you incorporate nature into your comprehensive healing methodology?

Incorporating nature into our healing methods is quite seamless, as the approach can adapt to various contexts. For instance, simply taking coaching sessions outdoors, like walking sessions, allows clients to reap the benefits of nature's influence, even without specific exercises. However, when needed, I integrate exercises that align with the individual's needs, such as relaxation techniques for managing stress. Additionally, my recent studies in ecotherapy have revealed extensive synergies with the forest mind approach, broadening the scope of nature-based interventions. We explore diverse avenues, from creating art using natural elements to immersive experiences in nature itself, offering clients a holistic approach to well-being that draws from the richness of the natural world.


What advice do you offer for achieving optimal health and well-being?

My advice for optimal health and well-being is to prioritize self-care and strike a balance in life. Rather than waiting until you're unwell, focus on maintaining wellness by incorporating simple habits, like spending time in nature and practicing mental coaching. Taking moments to breathe and disconnect from all kinds, for example, work-related stress can make a significant difference. Remember, nurturing your well-being is essential for a fulfilling life.

More from Sofia Health

Explore more enlightening interviews with specialists at Sofia Health. Gain diverse insights, practical tips, and transformative advice on health and wellness topics. Whether it's nutrition, mental well-being, or holistic healing, these expert interviews provide valuable resources for your journey to holistic health. Please read on and help yourself with knowledge for a healthier life.

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Disclaimer: The Sofia Unfiltered Blog by Sofia Health is for general informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional healthcare services, including the giving of medical advice. No doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this article or materials linked from this article is at the user’s own risk. The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard or delay in obtaining medical advice for any medical condition they may have. For any health concerns, users should seek the assistance of their healthcare professionals.

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