The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature
The Therapeutic Benefits of Nature are well known. Our surroundings can have a huge impact on how we think and feel and being in nature has been shown to be good for your body and Mind. Being in nature has shown to:
- Have a calming effect on depression – it promotes peace and quite in us and an attitude of mindfulness. Helping us to calm anxiety and stress.
- The physical activity of being in nature can also be calming as exercise naturally produces endorphins that make us feel better.
- Walking barefoot in nature has also show to be beneficial, studies have concluded that it helps to regulate our nervous system and so reduce anxiety and stress.
- When we are outside in natural light, this has a beneficial impact on our body clock and help to normalise our sleep schedule. Better quality sleep has a positive impact on our mental health.
- Being outside, even for a walk, or gardening, can help us to connect with other people. It might be in an outdoor activity or short chat as you pass. I know of a friend who has made many acquaintances, even with COVID through saying hello to the dogs she sees being walked.
- Being outside also helps us to put down our devices and screens and engage with something else.
Being outside in nature is easy if you have a garden or live near the countryside or, parks and green spaces. How do you engage with nature if you are living in the inner city or are housebound and accessing nature isn’t easy? Studies have also shown that looking at images of nature can also have a beneficial affect on our mental wellbeing. Just seeing images of the outdoors can reduce stress, reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. Investing in a picture of a nature scene for your wall or take a look on youtube for videos of nature scenes with relaxing music. Please click on the link for an example.
If pictures are not your thing, then perhaps house plants are. You don’t need a green thumb, succulents and cacti are easy to look after and are a way to bring nature into your home. The RHS states that there are a number of psychological benefits of indoor plants, such as:
- An improved mood
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased worker productivity (adding plants to office environments in particular)
- Increased speed of reaction in a computer task
- Improved attention span (in some scientific studies, but not all)
- Increased pain tolerance (for example, where plants were used in hospital settings)
You can read more about the research here.
Another way to bring nature to you is through sound. For some of you, you might be able to step outside and hear the birds or the trees rustling, or the sea. If you can’t you can find recordings on the internet, or you might want to try a website or app called Nosli.
With Noisli you can mix and match sounds to create a perfect sound environment. They have sounds or weather, the sea, birds singing along side other sounds like a café background, trains and white noise. You can listen to one sound or mix them together at different pitches. I have found this app useful when I want to relax and I am in a city situation where there aren’t many sounds of nature. It can also be useful when you want to concentrate and block out distractions.
Being in nature, looking at nature, hearing nature can all be beneficial to your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Sometimes though, having someone to talk things through with can be really impoartant. If you would like to make an appointment with me Call me on 07843 813537. Please leave a message if I can’t answer your call and I’ll call you back as soon as possible. If you have any other questions or enquiries please call or send me a message by completing the online enquiry form. Due to COVID I am currently working exclusively online or on the telephone.