The Healing Power Of Ecotherapy: Becoming One With The Nature

A powerful new therapy that is just as effective against depression as conventional psychotherapy or medicine has recently come to the attention of researchers. And the best part is that you don't have to pay for this therapy. Anyone at any moment has full access to it for free. It's not even a novel therapy; in fact, it predates the creation of the human species.

This is ecotherapy – connecting with nature.

Let’s learn more about it.

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What is ecotherapy?

Ecotherapy, commonly referred to as nature therapy or the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), may sound like something from a new-age book, but there is fascinating evidence to explore how spending time outside can improve your physical and mental health. Ecotherapy is based on the idea that people are interconnected with all other living things and that our psyches are not separated from or distinct from our surroundings. It gives people the chance to examine their relationship with nature, a topic that may be neglected in other forms of psychotherapy. To support healing and mental health, it focuses on establishing connections between people and nature, usually adding mindfulness.


Types of ecotherapy

Farming or community gardening. Gardening on shared land with neighbors allows you to raise your own food, create relationships, and spend time working outside. It also covers fundamental farming practices including taking care of livestock or crops.

Walk in a park. A growing number of healthcare experts and mental health professionals are advising people to spend a certain amount of time each week visiting a park or engaging in other outside activities.

Arts & Crafts in Nature. The therapeutic use of writing, painting, journaling, photography and the making of crafts from natural materials are all included in nature arts and crafts. This kind of ecotherapy is frequently introduced into conventional talk therapy or in-patient settings with the goal of improving mental health. It may be given as homework, an activity during sessions, or both.

Walking in a forest. This practice emphasizes conscious use of your five senses as you wander through woods or other environments with lots of trees, which is a little more than a simple stroll in the park.

Animal-assisted therapy. Another method of reducing stress is to pet, interact with, or work outdoors with animals including horses, dogs, and birds.

Adventure or wilderness therapy. This method of mental health therapy teaches teens and young adults coping mechanisms and therapeutic skills while they camp and trek in the wilderness with their peers.

Outdoor yoga and meditation. Although yoga and meditation have numerous known advantages, they might be even more beneficial when practiced outside.


Why does nature affect us in this way?

Nature has a relaxing and meditative influence on the mind. When we are in nature, our thoughts process a lot less information than usual and are not required to focus. The most significant benefit is that nature's majesty and beauty serve almost like a mantra during meditation, slowing down the usual "thought-chatter" that constantly races through our thoughts. As a result, calmness and vitality from within us fill, giving us a glow and enhancing our perceptions.


Benefits

More chances for social interaction

Although being at one with nature can feel wonderful, you also need to interact with other people. Even outside of formal therapy, you can connect with others. Ecotherapy frequently takes place in group therapy settings. For instance, participating in community gardening might make you feel less alone, introduce you to new people, and strengthen your sense of community. Many people who enjoy hiking and outdoor treks choose to travel in groups.

Heightened mindfulness

You're more likely to experience your surroundings through your senses when you spend time in a natural setting. You can get away from traffic, workplace strife, and other common stressors by listening to soothing noises like birds chirping or trees rustling.

You can practice focusing on the present instead of mentally going through anxious thoughts by turning your gaze onto the surroundings. You might unknowingly develop a mindfulness habit by spending more time in nature.

Inspiration to work out

Numerous ecotherapy techniques will get you up and moving around the house. Even gardening, which may not initially appear to be very physically demanding, requires a lot of movement. Naturally, exercise helps enhance sleep quality and other elements of physical health, but it can also benefit mental health.

Simply breathing in some fresh air can improve one's mood, while sunlight may have a more noticeable impact on depressive or anxious feelings. You might even try logging, which is sort of the formal phrase for cleaning up trash as you jog, to do some good for yourself and the environment.