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Nature Is Our Ally in Mental Health and Wellness

Mental health is something that we need to be taking seriously each and every single day. In many ways, it is just as important, if not more important, than physical health. It is no secret that mental health issues are becoming more rampant all of the time. A lot of people are stuck and seeking out ways to be healthy and happy. This is why drug and alcohol treatment centers are incorporating a number of eco-based therapies (i.e., outdoor counselling, hiking, equine therapy, etc.) in their treatment programs.

Here are a few nature-based therapies you can participate in to strengthen your mental health and wellness:

1. Take a good long walk to clear your mind
One treatment that is totally and completely free is walking. When walking, we get fresh air and we get our bodies moving. We’re not longer stuck in neutral and we are not sitting around concentrating on the negatives in our lives. Being immersed in nature by simply walking is as simple as lacing up your sneaker and putting your feet in motion.

2. Participating In A Physical Activity
While walking is great, it is also important to do something that gets all parts of the body moving and your blood pumping. Have you ever considered joining a sports league? First and foremost, participating in community sports allows us to bond with our fellow teammates and make some friends in a structured social environment. It also reminds us that we are never alone when we have a team on the field, and a team in life.

3. Understand Why We Need To Be Outside
When we’re feeling depressed, oftentimes the last thing we want to do is leave the house at all. However, the longer we stay indoors, the more we focus on what’s wrong in our own lives, which is why it’s important for us to be proactive and let nature do its magical work on us. Many scientific studies show the benefits of being outside when we’re feeling blue. Research from the Harvard University-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, recognizes a potent connection between time spent in nature and lower rates of depression, stress, negative thoughts, and anxiety. After monitoring the brain waves of a group of study participants who walked in nature for 90 minutes, it was found that nature walks had a direct correlation with lower prefrontal cortex response, an area of the brain region that focuses on negative, repetitive thoughts.