Research points out to the fact that we spend 98% of our time indoors. The notion that spending time in nature can make you feel better comes from a deep inner knowing we all have. In addition, people who have been suffering from stress, sickness, grief, violence and working and living noisy places, isolation, depression, anxiety, and excessive screen time can benefit greatly from time spent in gardens, by a body of water, or a simple 20 minute walk in a green space near your home.
Ecotherapy as co-facilitated by a trained Ecotherapist can help you in a variety of ways including:
Boosts Brain Power and Mood
New research from Standford University suggests that a 90 minute walk can lessen rumination. Rumination, or compulsively focusing on negative thoughts or stressors can lead to anxiety and depressive feelings. When one works with an Ecotherapist sessions can take place out in nature while walking which can also help lead to better problem-solving.
Life is stressful which can lead us to isolating ourselves from nourishing activities as we become time-stressed, rushing from one activity to another. Participating in Ecotherapy can help you slow down and engage in community activities in nature such as community gardening, and ecotherapy nature strolls. According to a series of field studies conducted by Kuo and Coley at the Human-Environment Research Lab, time spent in nature connects us to each other and the larger world. Another study at the University of Illinois suggests that residents in Chicago public housing who had trees and green space around their building reported knowing more people, having stronger feelings of unity with neighbors, being more concerned with helping and supporting each other, and having stronger feelings of belonging than tenants in buildings without trees. Although, we can certainly take hikes and strolls as part of outdoor recreation, Ecotherapy is facilitated by a trained professional with specific treatment goals. In the U.K. ecotherapy programs are routinely offered to those suffering from isolation because of chronic mental illness and grief as a way to boost mood but also decrease isolation.
Many artists are inspired by nature and research is showing that nature enhances our creativity. In a three year research study the impact of birdsong on our creativity and sense of wellbeing will be studied by the National Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust.
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