Do you love to be out in nature? Do you come back from a long walk or a weekend of camping refreshed and renewed?
Being in the woods does something to me. It brings me a sense of peacefulness and energy at the same time. Did you know that being in nature is a medically-proven treatment? It’s one that is much more easily embraced by our friends on the other side of the pond. (In my opinion, most of the world has a more intuitive approach to healthcare than we do in America.)
Ecotherapy, which is featured in Shadow in the Woods, is a real mental health therapy. I wrote an article about it for Urban Farm magazine several years ago, and the research and interviews were fascinating. Treatment can mean different things, depending on how a mental health counselor or doctor views it. One might prescribe an hour’s walk in the park daily, while another may encourage a client to add more plants to his or her office, or stare at a nature picture for a few minutes when feeling stressed.
Study after study has proven how beneficial it is for us to be out in nature or to view images of nature if we’re unable to get outdoors. A walk outside offers so many benefits though, if we’re able to get out there. Fresh air, sunshine (even on cloudy days, we’re still drawing in some of that beneficial sunlight), the sound of birds and the greenness (or other colors depending on the season) that greets us, along with awareness of being connected to a system greater than ourselves—all of it is healing.
Is being out in nature a part of your everyday routine? If so, please leave a comment and tell me more about what you enjoy doing outdoors.
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