This selection of books explains how nature helps heal.
A Stanford-led study finds quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression
Feeling down? Take a hike.
A new study finds quantifiable evidence that walking in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression.
Specifically, the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that people who walked for 90 minutes in a natural area, as opposed to participants who walked in a high-traffic urban setting, showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression…
When you’re feeling a deluge of negative emotions, you know that it can be helpful to “walk it off.” And according to a new study, there’s evidence to back up the stress-releasing strategy.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, found that taking group nature walks is associated with a whole host of mental health benefits, including decreased depression, improved well-being and mental health, and lower perceived stress. And the positive effects on mood seemed to be especially strong among people who had recently experienced a traumatic life event, like a serious illness, death of a loved one or divorce…
The Journal of Mental Health Counseling explores wilderness therapy as a treatment modality for at-risk youth: a primer for mental health counselors.
This article on goodtherapy.org explores how outdoors (ecotherapy) can help veterans overcome PTSD.
Army veteran Stephen Simmons served multiple tours in Iraq. When he came home, he was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress, which made interacting with friends and family difficult. Though he had trouble sleeping and struggled with managing his feelings of anger and guilt, he found strength in mitigating these struggles with physical activity. “Instead of ignoring and repressing these aggressive tendencies or jolts of adrenaline in your system, you can put them to work by challenging yourself against nature. It’s about action rather than apathy,” he said in a 2014 article posted on Mother Nature Network.
Why Ecotherapy Works for Former Service Members
Many service men and women are struggling with mental health issues after their tours abroad; this epidemic is claiming the lives of more veterans than the most recent wars themselves. With the growing need for effective mental health services, many veterans are turning to alternative forms of “green” treatment in outdoor settings. Since camaraderie, physical challenge, and personal growth are characteristics of both military service and of many of the ecotherapeutic programs cropping up around the United States, it makes this an ideal treatment form for veterans struggling with posttraumatic stress….