Nature has a lot more to offer us than we think. Life is becoming modernized, and that is the leading cause of people losing that connection between themselves and Nature, and that is the reason why we are not aware of the therapeutic properties of Nature for our mental health.
And that gives rise to the concept of ecotherapy. Ecotherapy is an idea or a form of treatment that uses nature's therapeutic power to promote emotional well-being. This concept has become much more powerful in recent years among people concerned about mental health.
And moreover, researchers are also pointing out that Nature has the ability to reduce stress, lower anxiety, and improve overall mood. Here in this blog, we will have a thorough analysis of ecotherapy, so if you want to learn more about the concept, then stay tuned!
As we have defined ecotherapy as a therapeutic approach to using Nature to address mental health. The basic concept is that connecting with Nature can help individuals feel better. This concept originated from ancient cultures, but now it has established its place in this modern world. Some basic techniques used in ecotherapy are nature walks, gardening, and even wilderness therapy.
It can be better explained with the help of an example; for a person who has been experiencing tiredness, Lack of accomplishment, then going for a forest walk can be a wonderful way he can rejuvenate his senses; planting a garden can provide a sense of accomplishment for the one feeling worthlessness. So by this approach, ecotherapy can be a wonderful way to explore the natural world while getting lasting benefits for one's mental health.
Nature has been proven to significantly impact mental health scientifically. And these scientific studies have shown that people exposed to Nature have significantly reduced anxiety, stress and depression.
Spending time surrounded by natural environments, you will see that there will be positive psychological and physiological effects on your well-being. And according to a study related to forest therapy, it states that people spending time in Nature have reduced cortisol levels (Cortisol is a stress hormone in the body) and blood pressure while increasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
After the scientific explanation of Nature's impact on an individual's mental health, here are some ways you can use order to connect with Nature.
One basic thing that starts your connection with Nature is going outdoors. While sitting in your home all the time, you are separating yourself from your natural habitat, which is Nature.
To get outdoors, you don't need to spend hours outside. Just go for a 20-30 min outdoor walking session in Nature. This can be going for a walk in the nearby garden or spending time in your backyard.
In order to practice ecotherapy, you have to engage yourself with Nature. Engaging yourself with Nature can be enjoying bird watching and observing wildlife. It can be doing gardening activities. In order to engage with Nature, you have to be present at the moment. This guides us to our next point, practicing mindfulness.
Going to the park for a walk, doing gardening and all this stuff would not help you as much if you are not present at the moment. And to be present at the moment, you must practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness meditation is a process in which you are, at present, you are in the moment living your life; you are not expecting anything or being judgemental about beauty. You are just cherishing it. This sort of mindfulness outdoors can deepen your connection with Nature and enhance your mental well-being.
One last thing you can do to connect with Nature is volunteer for environmental projects or organizations. Volunteering is a good way to connect with Nature while doing something meaningful for your community. Moreover, you can meet with people who are like you and start communicating with them.