Nature Is Your Free Therapist

We all deal with stress, being overwhelmed, anxiety and/or depression. Some of us more than others. And while there are so many amazing ways to help with this, from medicine to meditation, one way that is too often overlooked is by actively being outside.

Some call this nature therapy, green therapy, ecotherapy, Shinrin-Yku, or forest bathing. It is the therapy or treatment of anxiety, stress, and depression that involves simply being in the forest, or being outside. This might not be the one and only way to cure you of depression or anxiety, but it can be one way to help relieve some stress and put a smile on your face. Your brain naturally benefits from a good journey outside.

It is so easy to leave the indoors as little as possible. We can order food in, set the thermostat, climb under a blanket, do work from home or stay in an office all day. But we are still programmed to crave and need the outdoors.

Stressed, depressed, anxious, exhausted, un-inspired, self-involved, lonely, disconnected, angsty and lost. If any of these hit close to home, perhaps consider another venture outside.

The hills can lift your mood.

Hiking the trails can ease your stress.

The tranquil air of the night sky can calm your anxiety.

Let the sunlight wake you up.

Open your eyes to fresh scenery that will stimulate those creative juices.

Spend some time with loved ones outside to nurture your personal relationships.

Connect to nature, to the wider world, and to yourself.

Trees, wildlife and running water can ground you, make you feel found, calm, awe-inspired, and powerful.

If you have a dog, consider taking them on a longer walk every day. If you’re close to a hiking trail, connect with your local bit of nature. If you have a bike, go on a long ride in the park rather than hitting the gym for cardio. Join an outdoor workout group for some nature and community combined (Camp Gladiator is a great option). If your health does not allow you to hike or bike, set up a hammock or chair outside and relax and soak in the fresh air. Accept the beautiful therapy and medicine that is nature and feel yourself center, relax, and find a new sense of clarity and serenity.

It is important to remember that yes, nature’s therapy is amazing and often overlooked, but if your symptoms are more serious, perhaps also consider seeking professional help. If you already are getting professional or medical help and need another boost, then a long hike may be just what you need.

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