Nature Therapy – What Exactly Is It?
What Is It And Why Do So Many Psychologists Recommend It Nowadays, as you may have learned in a previous article of ours, going to therapy is quite common. Psychology, in general, is one of the areas of study with the most development in the last few decades. Due to the growing interest in the subject, we constantly find newer ways our brain is connected to different aspects of life.
One of the connections which we started exploring in recent years is that between humans and nature. Although we all know that we are entangled with our environment, we started understanding and using its benefits only recently, which is how nature therapy was born.
So What Is Nature Therapy?
The definition of nature therapy is relatively simple – it’s the practice of being in a natural environment in order to boost your mental health.
There are a few different types such as:
- Adventure therapy – rafting, skiing, climbing, and more similar activities done outside
- Meditation – meditating in parks, gardens, beaches, etc.
- Animal-assisted therapy – playing with dogs, cats, rabbits, etc. looking at birds, squirrels, and other wildlife
- Art therapy – drawing landscapes, sculpting wood, decorating leaves, rocks, and more
- Green exercise – running, doing yoga, cycling – outdoors, in parks, gardens, yards, etc.
- Horticulture – gardening, planting, and harvesting fruits and vegetables, trimming leaves, etc.
- Wilderness – camping, hiking, climbing mountains, visiting waterfalls, etc.
Many people try different approaches to find the one that fits them the best.
All of these can be done with the professional therapist that recommended them (if they’re willing to participate), with an organized group, or as a planned trip by the patient themselves. There are many more ideas that can be done as nature therapy, but these are the most common ones.
Benefits And Popularity
Being in nature is known to have a calming effect for pretty much everyone, especially right now, because of the urbanized environment we all live in. Looking at trees and flowers, enjoying the quiet vistas, landscapes, birdsong forests, or beaches is therapeutic to kids just like it is to the elderly.
Nature therapy is shown to help people battling anxiety, depression, ADHD, and many more mental conditions. Even though it’s not all-powerful and shouldn’t be used instead of medication, being in nature has a positive effect on these illnesses because it releases tension, reminds the person of compassion while managing to stay engaging for people with attention problems.
Many people with depression have stated that most of the nature therapy practices make them feel connected, which brightens up their day every time. Some share that walking barefoot is maybe the easiest way to get in the right headspace and start enjoying the different practices of nature therapy.
Another reason why it helps is that some practices are calming for people that are anxious, stressed or tired (art therapy, horticulture, and meditation for example), while others are engaging for people with attention problems or those who are restless (like adventure, green exercise and wilderness).
Nature therapy is a non-medicinal practice for relieving stress and managing different problems regarding the mental health of an individual. It is valuable and enjoyable for pretty much every person regardless of age, gender, or background and can be practiced all around the globe. Its benefits stem from our biological upbringing and the underlying causes of some of our troubles.
Nature therapy can help with sleep, emotional connection, anxiety, attention problems, and many more, and it does so while also providing a new and exciting experience. Nature therapy seems to be something that more and more people try and end up loving so much it ends up being a part of their lives they look forward to, and with all its positive sides, we completely agree with them.
Do YOU do nature therapy? If yes, what is your favorite? Comment below!