Fun Ideas For The Different Types Of Nature Therapy Practices Most of us live fast-paced, urbanized, and hectic lives with little free time and possibility to rest surrounded by wildlife. As we explained in our previous article, nature therapy is when one spends time in nature doing activities aimed at reconnecting them to the environment with the purpose of bettering their mental and physical health.
Humans are a part of a vast ecosystem that is filled with natural antidepressants, stress-relievers, system-boosters, etc. The thing is… Many of us sometimes forget to benefit from it. Nature therapy’s idea is to build or strengthen the connection with our natural habitat and utilize its multiple resources with the help of various fun and calming activities.
This is why we have compiled a list of actions often recommended by psychologists for this exact purpose. Here are the best nature therapies to try!
This is mostly used as a time for self-reflection and introspection. While meditating in a room can prove challenging for people with high stress levels, the entire trip up to the meditation spot in nature calms them down enough to make the whole experience much easier and more enjoyable. People have also said that the calming effects of simply being surrounded by nature are sometimes enough to make them feel better, even if they’re having difficulty meditating.
Different practices of outdoor meditation may include focusing on a specific object (like a tree or a flower instead of the whole forest) or a sound (like a river or the birds) and thinking about exactly where they come from and why they matter.
This is done so that you can understand better that some things just are… and that’s okay. Two very different types of people benefit a lot from outdoor meditation, and those are the elderly people with little daily activities and people with extremely busy lives. The reason for the first group is that they can connect with the big trees, for example or the essentially eternal bodies of water, and feel at peace while just existing.
The second type often focuses on things that are smaller to remind themselves of their individuality and their innocence in being simply what they are with no further responsibilities.
Playing with animals (from animal-assisted therapy)
Connecting with different species can be extremely therapeutic especially if you spend a lot of time alone. You can walk dogs, play with bunnies, chickens, or even horses and while doing so, remind yourself of all the beautiful things a living being can do and all the excellent qualities it has.
It is common for people with different illnesses to have treatment pets because of the trust, dependence, and love they build for each other. A lot of psychologists recommend getting in contact with animals in order to establish those connections exactly. Spending time with something completely different from you, but still managing to build a bond and have a great time is often a very grounding experience.
And let us tell you this – Such experiences can massively help battle anxiety and depression. If you can’t have a pet due to personal reasons, going to the zoo or a dog shelter can do the trick almost as well, and it has the benefit of making the trip the focus of your day.
Camping (from wilderness therapy)
Here you let go of modern-day comfort and choose to depend solely on nature and your own actions. Such activities are helpful in gaining confidence in yourself and realizing that you are capable of way more than what you do on a daily basis. Improving feelings like self-worth and accomplishment are why most people try this type of therapy, seeing as it offers you a situation in which you both have the stimulation needed to act in the moment and your progress is visibly tangible.
You can try camping on a beach or mountain as well as hiking, visiting caves and waterfalls or even going fishing or bird spotting in rugged terrain.
Going to an outdoor workout (from green exercise therapy)
Running or cycling outside is better than doing so in the gym both for your physical and mental health, but what you hadn’t thought of probably is that you can do many more different types of exercise in the fresh air. Take Tai-chi or dancing for example – there are open-field classes in which you not only get your workout in but also come in contact with nature.
Many people suggest you try doing these activities or similar ones barefoot both because it’s easier to feel one with your surroundings and because it helps with the flow of the movements themselves.
Rafting (from adventure therapy)
The idea here is to explore what’s outside of your comfort zone. Although you can go by yourself, many people recommend you go with your therapist so that they have a first-person perspective on how you’re feeling at the moment and help you overcome your fears if you need assistance.
Facing something big, exciting, and maybe a bit scary gives you a thrill but has a calming effect afterward. Doing the action itself gives you the adrenaline boost while realizing it wasn’t so scary after all, and knowing that you managed to do it calms you down and makes you both humble and accomplished.
This kind of therapy is often used for treating addiction because it reminds people that good emotions, either intense or not, can be found through your own actions instead of different substances. If you can’t go rafting, you can try bungee jumping, rock climbing, zip-wiring, and many more, depending on where you live.
Gardening (from horticulture therapy)
The idea here is to take care of something and watch it grow. Many people lose their sense of individuality and forget that their actions have actual consequences, especially when they’re a part of a huge company, for example. In situations like this one or if you’re living alone in a new city, you can feel as if the effort you put in is not worth as much as you thought it did or would like it to.
Taking care of something and nurturing it to reach its next stage of development is a very hands-on example of why your actions are essential. Knowing that something depends on you and that you’re important for something you love can give you a sense of purpose you may lack in a bustling cityscape. You can make a micro-sized garden in your own apartment (if you don’t have a lot of space, you can take care of one or two potted plants) or a more sizable gardening place if you have a yard, and both are interchangeable and fun throughout the entire process.
To Wrap It Up
Nature therapy has many different practices and provides countless opportunities suitable for people from all walks of life. You will undoubtedly find something you love as a program in nature therapy, and it will not only help you with your problems but can also be made into a lifelong hobby or even passion. Most people have shared that exploring the world and themselves by connecting to it through different activities has not only pulled them out of a rut but helped them grow in ways nothing else could.
With its overwhelming positive effects and ways they can be achieved, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t try at least one or two of the ideas on this list. We are sure that they will give you an experience you will remember forever.