Whether it’s because of work, school, or other responsibilities, we often don’t get enough time in nature. We know it makes us feel good, but life gets in the way, and we spend more time indoors. This is where nature therapy or ecotherapy comes in. In this article, we’ll discuss nature therapy, how it works, and how it can benefit you mentally and physically.
What Is Nature Therapy?
We spend a lot of time staring at screens, computers, TVs, phones, tablets, etc. If we’re not working, we might decompress by binging on our favorite Netflix show. While this can be a source of entertainment and relaxation, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance between screen time and other activities. Instead, nature therapy serves as a gentle and effective means of psychological healing.
Nature therapy consists of six steps: stimulation, acceptance, purification, insight, recharging, and change. By connecting your mind and body to the natural world, nature therapy helps heal physical symptoms, psychological problems, and social relationships. It can also help people overcome difficulties and resolve issues on their own.
How Nature Therapy Works
One way therapists engage in nature therapy is by meeting their clients outdoors in a wooded area, by a body of water, or at a local park. If clients really need to stay indoors, some therapists will include plants, indoor fountains, and nature visualization. Other nature-based therapies include animal-assisted therapy, wilderness experiences, forest bathing, and horticulture therapy.
Benefits of Nature Therapy
According to a 2019 publication by Science Advances, the mental health benefits of experiences in nature may be due to several psychological factors, including reduced stress, increased social connection or physical activity, and improved cognitive function. Simply put: Spending time in nature puts you in a better mood.
Green and Blue Therapy
Green and blue spaces are associated with inland (green), coastal (blue), and nature connectedness. According to a 2021 study, people who felt connected to nature were happier, less stressed, and less likely to need medication for depression. Interestingly, visiting blue spaces in countries with fewer coastal areas was associated with better mental health.
Is Nature Therapy for You?
Nature therapy is a good choice for anyone for people with high stress, depression, anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD. It may not be the best option for people with severe mental illness or privacy concerns. Talk to your therapist to see if your goals align with nature therapy.