Many of us are at higher risk for mood disorders as we age, from dealing with sudden life changes like health issues, the loss of loved ones, and even the new world of competitive career race! We may not want to turn to medication or therapy for help, and for many us, interacting with nature is one of the best self-improvement tools that can be used effectively.
Of many remedies we are using now a days or remedies medical practitioners are recommending, ‘Going to nature’ is the most effective to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
If you take a walk on street of say two hours verses you take nature trail of 60 mins only, which one would be more beneficial for you in terms of getting your mood back to normal?
There is a part of brain which is called as Prefrontal Cortex, which becomes hyper active when we are over thinking or can’t escape a loop of thoughts for long time. If this happens a lot with you, it tends to malfunction Prefrontal Cortex, which results in dragging you deep into negative emotional loop.
Our brain gets engaged in making endorphin. Endorphin is a chemical causing ‘feel-good’ for us.
Endorphin is normally produced when we any physical exercise resulting in sweating. Doing physical activities like hiking, nature trail, swimming in lakes, rivers, and natural ponds produces endorphin in multitudes. That’s the reason why a 60mins hike is more beneficial to us, when compared to any other indoor activity.
This results in reducing stress and pain, anxiety and depression. Digging a bit deeper, it appears that interacting with natural spaces offers other therapeutic benefits. For instance, calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response.
The visual aspects of nature can also have a soothing effect having something pleasant to focus on like trees and greenery helps distract your mind from negative thinking, so your thoughts become less filled with worry.
How much daily dose of nature do we need?
The true answer to this question is ample time as much possible. Being modern human being, we still can’t run away from the fact that we are not anything other than nature. We are born to live in the natural world, in harmony with Mother Nature. So living life, 24X7 X365 in the natural world is ideal for everyone. You might think that this ideal is something next to impossible, right? However, let me tell you that, people have started realizing the importance of nature and how nature can be our adobe to healthy and happy life. Many young educated, highly educated people have chosen to leave their corporate careers behind and setting strong foundation of living healthy and happy life in the nature. I know such people and they are so welcoming that someday, if you come to our campsite, we can meet them together. The fundamental idea behind such life is very simple. We should work for our needs and not for greeds. Now you might think that this is still something not for you!
Then let me tell you something you would like to hear and even practice. An hour every day into the nature would help you overcome all anxiety, stress and depression. In this one hour you can run, do jogging, do fast walking, do Yoga, do workout whichever way you are comfortable with.
I personally follow this. I do running in natural setting, and believe me, it really energizes me far better way than running on tar roads or running tracks.
Going camping, trekking once a month would also a great way to burst stress out. Many of the campers; who come to us, have great experience of getting connected with Mother Nature at the same time disconnecting with gadgets and mobiles and laptops. One more reason for such a wonderful feeling is that we have no network reception available at all at our campsite. So people are automatically offline when they are at the campsite.
Stay tuned for more such articles and updates.
Hemant S Vavale