Time Spent In Nature

Walking in the woods really does mellow you out.

For me time spent in nature decreases feelings of anxiety, and depression. A time to recharge. A source of solace and inspiration.
Being in nature allows both my body and mind to explore, which leads me feeling refreshed.

Researchers believe that it has to do with the wood oils in the trees–the natural aromatherapy. There have even been studies that show that dirt itself contains natural antidepressants.

I post a lot about getting out in nature or just getting outdoors. At a time in my life when I needed something more, nature was my healer. I advise others who come to me feeling down, stressed or out of sorts to seek the same “treatment” I did when it was needed. “GET OUTDOORS!” “MOVE!”

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Being outdoors in nature helps distract your mind from negative thinking, you then become less filled with worry. Life gets put on hold when you’re in the woods.

Get outdoors, exercise, explore, walk, run, listen, sit by the waters edge, take in the beauty, notice the little things. Feel the breeze on your face and you will never be the same again, that’s my promise to you.

My interactions with nature have become a part of my normal lifestyle. I need the woods. Especially when life gets busy. Stressful situations pop up and just like that I’m feeling sour, drained, like I’m slipping away.  I can hear the woods calling me in.

I try to combine my nature outings with my regular exercise when I can. ( I love this the most ) other times it could be a walk, some quiet time by the water and a good book that I’ve tucked away in my backpack.

Eco therapy has become my therapy of choice.

I read a lot and recently I read that in Finland, public health officials now recommend that citizens get 5 hours a month, minimum, in the woods, in order to stave off depression. This is evidence-based. They found that people need this time in order to preserve their mental health. I couldn’t agree more.

Some much needed time in the woods today and I feel like I have come out standing taller than the trees. Nature never disappoints. Refreshed!

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Give it a try! Set a goal to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day. It doesn’t seem like much, but it will make a big difference. Like everything else in our lives, small and simple changes add up and can keep the fire inside burning bright.

DH Lawrence may have stated it best “Nature shows us that the world is full of many more layers than we notice in our day to day lives, that there are always new things to explore.”

I would love to hear your experiences with the healing powers of nature.

Discovering Ecotheraphy

Have you ever thought that you’re not as happy as you should be in your life?

I’m sure you have. We all have at some point in our lives.

About a year ago that was me. Not that my life is hard, or that I have a lot to worry about, I have a pretty comfortable life. It was just me feeling stuck .Thinking too much about the past, worrying about the future, just not being thankful for the present. I decide it was time to take some steps to enhance my level of well-being. I started on my journey. I took to the World Wide Web and googled well-being. Here I found a number of new activities and practices that I could take up: meditation, singing, running, performing acts of kindness, mindfulness, yoga and so on. I do a lot of these now, but the one thing I was surprised with was that research had shown of all these activities the most effective thing you could do, according to research, is to take up gardening.  flowers
Gardening? No wonder I always felt so much better after a day of working in the yard. I should tell you first of all that I am not a gardener. I have no idea what the flowers in my flower beds are called, with the exception of the Hosta plant. Oh yes, and the impatiens flowers. All I know is that those plants in the back get nice purple flowers and the others in the corner get beautiful yellow ones. Yep, and that’s how I plant my flower beds.
I read in an article that in the UK, gardening has begun to be used as a therapy for individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. As an alternative to prescribing anti-depressants, doctors in a pilot study are signing patients up for 12 week gardening courses. The ‘Grozone’ project teaches patients basic horticultural skills and encourages them to grow their own plants, which they can take home afterwards.
ECOTHERAPHY! Sweet! I love it! I have always enjoyed being outdoors and soaking up the beauty of nature in general, a walk through the woods, sitting on the beach, stopping by a roadside park. I have used all of these to improve the symptoms of anxiety and to improve concentration and well-being.
So although I have been under the weather with a cold I decided to venture out to the flower gardens yesterday. It’s fall here so it’s time to cut back, transfer and weed the few gardens I do have. If you know me, you will know that I have been on a mindfulness journey and have become very wrapped up in practicing mindfulness because it is such a powerful tool that keeps me staying in the now. So as I was digging in the dirt I found myself absorbed in the digging, lost track of time and the restlessness and chattering of my mind just faded away. I felt alert, alive and my mental energy became more intensified.
dirtI was in the moment! Concentrating on the beauty around me, free from the anxieties of the future.
So today I got lost in the gardens again. I have never devoted much time to the activity. But I’m beginning to think that I should start. Not only did it feel great to get out and do some physical activity it kept me focused and in the now, it gave me a sense of accomplishment too. I know I will have to wait until next summer for all my hard work to unfold but I also know once the snow melts and spring arrives and the first sign of bulbs pop through the ground I will be knee deep in my new ECOTHERAPHY.
And for now I will give thanks to mother nature for providing a day of sunshine. Cheers to another wonderful day outdoors.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

-Luther Burbank