Ecotherapy: A Dose of Nature (14th November, 2020):
In recent years, researchers have become aware of a new kind of therapy that can be as effective as traditional medication or psychotherapy. The interesting part is that it is completely free, and accessible to anyone anywhere, at any time.
Well, this is none other than ‘ecotherapy’ (also known as green therapy, or earth-centered therapy) that we are talking about. Contact with nature can help us to heal our tired minds, and transform us from within.
There are moments when our vision of our surroundings becomes intense, and we feel a strong sense of connectedness to them. During those times, our world seems more harmonious and a strong sense of well-being fills us. Because most of the times we remain confined within man-made environments, we tend to forget the therapeutic, calming effects that nature may have upon us. The entire human race has had a close bond with nature since ancient times. We crave for nature in the same way a child craves for his mother, for it provides us with feelings of comfort, safety, and belongingness. No wonder, the benefits of nature in healing of the mind, body, and soul are now finding their way in prescription pads, as more and more healthcare providers are encouraging their patients to put on their walking boots and explore nature to get a boost of well-being.
Different Approaches to Ecotherapy
Gardening: Exposure to sunlight helps reach adequate amounts of serum Vitamin D levels in adults, which is beneficial for the development of bones and immune system. It serves as an excellent means of aerobic exercise. You might become so engrossed in bending and pulling the weeds that you won’t even realize that you are actually perspiring. Places with group gardening opportunities may witness increased socialization opportunities and communal solidarity, thereby competently combating loneliness and stress.
Nature Walks/Taking a Hike: As a 2007 study from the University of Essex shows, enjoying some fresh air outdoors often lifts your mood, and you may be able to make use of your five senses effectively to experience the calming sounds of chirping birds, and rustling of leaves. This helps you increase your mindfulness and detach yourselves from the stressors of your everyday hectic schedule.
Forest Bathing: Health professionals are nowadays recommending people to spend some time in parks, or similar tree-heavy settings and pursue outdoor activities, exercises, yoga, and meditation. Such practices are believed to entail regenerative powers while dealing with medical conditions—from high blood pressure and diabetes to fatigue, obesity, and anxiety.
Animal-assisted Therapy: When things are not going well, and you feel depressed, try petting, playing, or working with animals like dogs and birds outdoors. Animals are a part and parcel of nature, and developing a bond with them can guide our emotional responses through the establishment of self-worth, self-motivation, and strong communication skills.
Over the years, we have been massively using natural resources to meet our day-to-day demands for food, fuel, fiber, timber, and freshwater. However, alterations to the ecosystem have resulted in permanent loss of biodiversity, pollution, melting of polar ice caps, and global warming. Never forget that protecting our planet starts with us only.
So try to make eco-friendly and sustainable choices as much as possible.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Plant more trees, and volunteer for clean-ups within your community.
- Shop wisely. Use paper grocery bags, or reusable cloth shopping bags, and cardboard boxes for storing items at home and office.
- Conserve water, and don’t let chemicals pollute our inland waterways.
- Educate others about the benefits and assets that nature has showered upon us such that there is a widespread awareness on natural conservation.
After all, every small effort in reduction of carbon footprints, particularly through recycling and limited driving can go a long way in saving our planet from man-made disasters. Take care of yourselves, and keep others happy and healthy as well.
During this week, on 12th November, the world celebrated World Ayurveda Day. From us at Healthboost, our wish for us is to be blessed with a Green Environment.