Eco-Therapy to Tackle Mental Health Issues
- Author: Apeksha Rawat Published: 3rd October, 2019
Ecotherapy is a wide range of treatment programs that aim to improve mental and physical wellbeing through engaging in outdoor activities in nature. It can take place in both urban and rural settings, such as farms, parks, gardens, and woods. Ecotherapy includes two main activities that focus on- working in nature and experiencing nature. Every year, World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October to promote mental health advocacy and educate people about it. Several mental health conditions can also be addressed by ecotherapy, such as includes stress, depression, and anxiety.
Ecotherapy is also known as nature therapy or green therapy and it is based on the idea that people are connected to the natural environment. Ecotherapists claim that spending time outdoors and connecting with nature is important for our health. It helps improve depression, improve self-esteem, lowers blood pressure, encourages new social behaviour, and helps with impulse control. Ecotherapists suggests that additional benefits can be achieved by enhancing the approach with several physical exercises, such as gardening, walking, cycling, and spending time with animals. The eco-therapy can also be practiced by bringing nature indoors in the form of indoor gardens, growing plants in the house, and natural lighting.
Ecotherapy can make a huge difference to how people feel and perceive different things in life. Read further to know more about the benefits of eco-therapy.
Benefits of Ecotherapy:
It Improves Mental Health- Staying close to nature helps the mind and body relax and provides an alternative perspective on life. It improves mood, increases emotional resilience, and reduces the feeling of stress and anxiety.
It Improves Physical Health- Practicing ecotherapy gives opportunities for physical exercises that increase energy level and reduces stress hormones in the body. Staying amidst the natural environment relaxes the nervous system and increases stamina and fitness.
Builds up Confidence- Engaging in ecotherapy activities enables people to overcome new challenges or learn new skills. It eliminates hesitation and gives people the confidence to try new things in different areas of life.
Brings Closer to Nature- Spending more time in outdoor activities allows people to learn more about the cycles of nature. They get a chance to experience the sights, smells, and sounds of Mother Nature and become more aware of natural species and materials.
It Reduces Depression- Eco- therapy means being surrounded by nature, doing more physical activities, and getting more regular social contact with people. It reduces loneliness among people, boosts self-esteem, and enhances the overall sense of wellbeing.
Helps Develop Social Life- By engaging in ecotherapy projects, one can meet new people and build a support network of like-minded people, which may develop into long-term friendships.
Here are some simple ways to introduce ecotherapy into daily life.
Ways to Practice Ecotherapy in Daily Life:
- Go for a walk every day, whether in the backyard of the house, to the park or down the street.
- Sit outside and breathe in the fragrance of flowers, such as rose, lavender, and basil.
- Walk bare feet on grass. It will help eliminate negative and stale energy from the body and absorb the fresh energy of the earth.
- Sit under a tree or hug it, maybe. It has been scientifically proven that hugging a tree is sure to make one feel good.
- Watch the night sky and sit near the beach. Sky and ocean are two of the most comforting aspects of nature. Watching the night sky with moon and stars and observing the vastness of the ocean help expand the mind and create the feeling of freedom inside.
- Planting a small garden including flowers, herbs or various species of plants is an enjoyable activity that makes one feel happy.
- Walking in the light rain is quite soothing. It allows the body to be exposed to nature without any barrier.
- Sitting in silence and not getting involved in any sort of physical or mental activity is one of the best ways to avail benefits of eco-therapy. It allows people to get back in touch with themselves and calm their wandering mind, which is always lost in thoughts.