Nature Therapy: The Power of the Outdoors
Nature Therapy: The Power of the Outdoors

Nature Therapy: The Power of the Outdoors

Nature therapy, also known as ecotherapy or green therapy, is a form of treatment that uses the outdoors to improve mental and physical wellbeing. Nature has always been a source of inspiration and relaxation for human beings, and research shows that it can be a powerful tool for healing.

Spending time in nature has been linked to reduced stress, improved mood, and increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Studies have shown that being in natural environments can lower blood pressure, decrease cortisol levels, and improve immune system function.

Nature therapy can take many forms, from forest bathing to gardening, to outdoor meditation and mindfulness exercises. It can be as simple as taking a walk in the park, or as complex as a guided wilderness retreat. Whatever the form, the focus is on being present in nature and allowing it to work its magic.

One of the main benefits of nature therapy is its ability to reduce stress. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyles can take a toll on our mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Spending time in nature can help us to slow down and take a break from the demands of our daily lives. It allows us to focus on the present moment and connect with something larger than ourselves.

In addition to reducing stress, nature therapy has been shown to improve overall mood and wellbeing. It can help to increase feelings of happiness and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. The sense of awe and wonder that comes from being in natural environments can also help to improve creativity and productivity.

Another benefit of nature therapy is its ability to improve physical health. Spending time outdoors has been linked to lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and better sleep. It can also help to boost the immune system, leading to fewer illnesses and a stronger overall sense of wellbeing.

In conclusion, nature therapy is a powerful tool for healing that can help to improve both mental and physical health. Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or simply looking to improve your overall wellbeing, spending time in nature can be a great way to achieve your goals.

Where does nature therapy come from

Nature therapy, also known as ecotherapy or green therapy, has its roots in ancient cultures where people regularly engaged in outdoor activities and believed in the healing power of nature. In the modern era, the concept of nature therapy was developed and popularised in the 1980s by the Japanese government as a form of preventive healthcare called Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” In the following decades, the idea of nature therapy spread to other parts of the world, and today it is a well-recognized form of complementary medicine that is used to promote physical and mental wellbeing.

How can I practise forest bathing

Practising forest bathing is a simple and enjoyable way to connect with nature and improve your overall well being. Here are some steps you can follow to practise forest bathing:

  1. Find a natural environment that you enjoy. This can be a forest, park, or any other outdoor area that has trees, plants, and wildlife.
  2. Turn off your phone or other electronic devices and focus on the present moment. Leave behind any distractions or worries and allow yourself to be fully present in the natural environment.
  3. Engage your senses. Take deep breaths and inhale the natural scents. Observe the colours, textures, and movements of the plants and animals around you. Listen to the sounds of the environment, such as birds chirping or leaves rustling.
  4. Walk slowly and mindfully. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you walk, the feeling of the ground under your feet, the movement of your arms and legs. Don’t worry about reaching a specific destination or goal, simply allow yourself to wander and explore.
  5. Take a break and rest. Find a quiet spot and sit down, close your eyes, and relax. Allow yourself to rest and recharge in the natural environment.
  6. Practice gratitude. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty and healing power of nature. Express gratitude for the opportunity to connect with the natural world and improve your overall wellbeing.

By practising forest bathing regularly, you can experience the benefits of nature therapy, including reduced stress, improved mood, and increased overall wellbeing.