We all seek a reduction of stress, anxiety and negative moments and by reducing these we manage to have a more balanced, somewhat happier life. The pace of modern life has an important impact on our wellbeing and our sedentary life is one of the main cause of the stress we feel regularly. That's where getting out in nature, is one of the simplest and most intuitive activities to improve these increasingly important parameters for happiness and well-being.
We spend too much time in the office, in front of screens with artificial light: all conditions that make us feel tired, off- centre and bored. Interacting with nature in nature is one of the best tools for self-improvement. I mean get out, take a walk, breathe in that clean, fresh air and look up and out to what is in front of you. This interaction with green spaces offers other therapeutic benefits. For example, by appreciating the sounds of nature or the silence outdoors, you can lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol, the stress hormone and acts like it's own little meditation.
Bring nature in to your own life whenever you can. Time spent in nature has in its entirety a great deal of beneficial effects, regardless of the activity in which it takes place: a daily walk in a park or a Saturday afternoon on a local path, is as beneficial to clocking up the miles on a training run.
Go with friends, go alone, put the right clothes on, take your furry friend and get out there in the green. A study in 2014 found that walking in a group in nature is as effective as hiking alone in terms of reducing depression and stress and improving overall mental health. Nature can have a powerful effect on our mental state and there are many ways to draw on it. The best (and only) way to experience the effectiveness of eco-therapy is simply to spend more time outdoors, trying to interact with other living beings.
Among the proven effects on wellness of eco-therapy here are some more from the clever people out there studying such things:
It can be difficult in Scotland to get out there when the weather is bad and the snow is coming straight at you. But as my favourite comedian, Billy Connelly says, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little."