Bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. 

Not only has spending time in nature been found to help with mental problems, such as anxiety and depression, but it can also boost your creative task performance. 


Scotty Johnson is a behavioural coach and motivational speaker with a passion for the outdoors. Whether it’s trekking through the rainforests of Australia or sailing through the glistening waters of the Caribbean, Scotty takes his clients on learning experiences and expeditions inspired by nature. 

His approach encourages people to think differently and take action that makes a real difference to their own lives, as well as their organisations.

We’re delighted that Scotty has shared some of his amazing experiences with Your Virtual Mind Trainer. He has filmed a number of our 360-degree nature videos, in addition to providing the ‘male voice’ for our coaching audios.

Here we catch up with Scotty, founder of Explore What Matters, at his home nestled by the hills, woodlands and lakes of Cumbria to discuss the importance of nature for our wellbeing and how Your Virtual Mind Trainer offers an opportunity to change pace.

Why do you think access to nature is so important?

I’ve personally never enjoyed being confined to the indoors too much!

Research has shown the scientific effect green space and nature can have on our brains and wellbeing. And it’s my great belief that getting outdoors into inspiring natural settings can give people the space and time to slow down, have a good think about things and escape stresses of the workplace.

Being outdoors can also help reconnect people to the things that matter, while developing their creativity, awareness and perspective.

So many people today face daily commuting challenges, modern offices without windows, hours of sitting stationary without getting outside.

But it can be so useful for people to take a few minutes out of their busy schedules and to have a change of scenery. 

I love walking and talking to clients 1:1 in the park as it allows more honest and courageous conversations to take place. The lack of direct eye contact combined with movement in green space are magical ingredients for meaningful dialogue. Spending time in nature and slowing down can be like looking in a huge mirror where we can gain profound insights on our values, purpose and identity. The reflective adventure journeys I run for corporate leaders sailing around Antigua or canoeing down rivers in Norway take these insights to another level.

What do you think to Your Virtual Mind Trainer?

Your Virtual Mind Trainer is a great idea to bring the power of nature for increased wellbeing to wider audiences through technology, making it accessible virtually.

It brings contrast and a different perspective to someone’s home office, instantly transporting them to a natural space, especially when used with the VR headset. 

The combination can help people learn to be calm through guided breathing and offers an opportunity to slow down a little bit and develop better habits.

But why would you use YVMT when you can just go outside?

YVMT is not there to replace outdoors and in fact it can often act as a reminder to get outside and the importance of connecting with nature.

Yes, you are still looking at a screen, but for a very different reason. It’s not about reading an email, it’s about just ‘being’ for a few minutes. Often when our brains are in neutral and not trying to think we can get answers and clarity. We very rarely find the answers we seek when somebody says, 'ok let's solve these problems now!'

It’s important to give yourself space and time for insights to come. People generally don't spend enough time connecting with the natural world. Even just those six minutes is a sufficient time to pause, think, reflect and rationalise. It’s about a contrast and a change of pace.

About the Author


The Your Virtual Mind Trainer team includes experts in clinical psychology, coaching and organisational behaviour.