“(Patients) welcome the humanizing effect of taking therapy outdoors and are typically hoping to multitask by incorporating their therapy session with exercise. “The power dynamic shifts in a walking session versus an office setting,” Udler said. “If you’re the client and you’re coming in to see me in my office, it’s my space. It’s my chair. You have your chair. It’s my decorations. It’s my family photos. Outside, it’s our space.”
Give me more Serotonin!
Serotonin helps maintain our mood. Winnie the Pooh is a perfect example of a person (or bear) with just the right amount of Serotonin floating around in his furry body. He’s never too down and never too high. We do many things to regulate our mood throughout the day. One method is counting our blessings and being grateful. Recording what we are thankful for actually releases some additional serotonin into our systems.
Here’s a Tip from the Trail:
Keep a journal and pen at your bedside. Before you jump to your TODO list, take a few minutes and write down three things for which you are grateful.
- “Thank you for another day! I’m alive!”
- “Thank you for my family.”
- “Thank you for a good night’s sleep.”
I like to use a dry erase marker and write my three grateful thoughts on my bathroom mirror. Do the same thing during your sleep hygiene routine. A Harvard Health Publication elaborates on the benefits of showing gratitude each day, and how expressing this praise may be the simplest way to feel better.
Keep writing your words of gratitude on the mirror until you can no longer see your reflection. Take a photo, so you don’t forget. Erase and repeat. Those words represent the condition of your heart. Gratefulness is the new cardio.
“Let’s not forget we’re alive; it’s going to be a beautiful day.” ~ Joshua Radin
The lack of sunshine in the winter increases the risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — a form of depression.
“In the winter and fall months, some people are prone to have depression,” psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Okpaku said.
While the exact causes of SAD is unknown, the reduction in sunlight in winter can throw your biological clock out of whack and reduce levels of serotonin — a brain chemical that influences mood — and melatonin — a chemical which regulates sleep and mood.
“The further you are away from the equator, the more likely you’re going to have Seasonal Affective Disorder,” Dr. Okpaku said.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are:
- feeling blue or depressed
- fatigue, low energy
- Trouble concentrating
- appetite, weight changes
- lack of interest
Another therapist grasps the Trailtalk concept with outdoor therapy and is featured in Runner’s World.
BY JUSTIN HOUSMAN | OCTOBER 22, 2018
It just so happens that doctors are increasingly starting to realize time spent outdoors can be an excellent treatment for chronic health issues. So doctors in the Shetlands are now issuing “nature prescriptions” as part of an initiative to address health issues without drugs if you can imagine that.
For everything from high blood pressure to diabetes, anxiety, and depression, the medical community is learning (though lots of us have always known) that many ailments and diseases can be treated with activities like birdwatching, maybe a little kayaking, perhaps combing a beach for shells, even skipping pebbles across a slow-moving stream. Even just sitting silently in a forest, meditating (see: Japan, forest bathing).
Guest Host Kim Crittenden is joined by Owner and Therapist, Allison Page. Allison is owner of Trail Talk, a unique mental health service that takes the patient off the couch and into nature for their therapy sessions.