Nature is good for our mind-body and spirit. It restores and rejuvenates us. Being in natural surroundings like green forests or swimming in the blue ocean has the power to heal and cure mental and physical illnesses.
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Doses of Greenery & Blue Seas
Recently I was forced to move to a place which was away from the hustle bustle of the city life. The seashore is a close walk through a forested area of coconut groves and other shady green trees. My mornings are spent walking through this green thicket to the blue ocean. And ever day I feel calmer and calmer, a feeling of peace and contentment fills me. My mind is slowly filled with the wonder of the present and looking forward in anticipation of the future. It feels like the ghosts of the past are slowly drifting away.
Just a month of being immersed in nature has brought about a dramatic shift in my mental state. Further, it feels as though the emotional blocks unfreezing, my brain feels like parts of it are loosening, which releases the misalignments in my twisted spine.
It has come as a surprise how just being in nature has brought about a change in my heath. However, science has proved that nature is indeed the best cure for stress related ailments and other health problems.
What is Ecopsychology
Ecopsychology explores the relationship between human beings and the natural world. Studies show that spending time in nature can reduce stress, improve overall feelings of wellbeing and raise your energy level.
I have felt myself getting more calmer and less reactive. Which is such a big step for those of us suffering from the effects of CPTSD. Being hyper-sensitive and hyper-vigilant, hyper-everything are our default mental states.
Believe me just lying on the beach listening to the waves crashing on the shore naturally changes my brain waves from stressed beta to relaxing alpha-theta. I am lulled into another dimension.
Nature Deprivation Affects On Health
More and more studies show the detrimental affect of being indoors glued to our smartphones and computers. Excessive screen time is associated with increased fatigue, depression, anxiety, ADHD in children, and poor concentration.
Research is showing that people who live closer to green space have fewer health complaints and live longer and that the green space itself is a stress buffer, helping people cope better with life’s adversity. This is attributed to the invisible chemicals (called phytoncides) in some trees which help reduce stress hormones, lower anxiety, and improve blood pressure and immunity.
Further, studies have proved that people who lived closer to or near forests had significantly lower rates of lung, breast, uterine, prostate, kidney, and colon cancers.
Forest Bathing or Shinrin-yoku
Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Studies have shown that ”Forest Bathing’ may really be good for health,
Blue Is Better Than Green
However, research done by a team from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health shows that seeing “blue space” (lakes, oceans, rivers) has a greater positive effect on people than “green space” (parks, trees, lawns.)
Benefits of Sand, Seawater & Sun
Going to the beach is not just fun it is also good for our health. Walking on the beach listening to the soothing sound of sea waves crashing on the beach is deeply relaxing.
Moreover, walking barefoot on sand helps ground us and connect us to the earth’s magnetic energy. Scientific research over more than a decade indicates that your body can be protected and helped—and that you feel better—when you electrically reconnect to the Earth. That is, when you are grounded.
Being on the beach means spending more time in the sun, which means more Vitamin D, and that’s good for your bones. It’s also good for lowering your blood pressure, supporting your immune system, and helping with rheumatoid arthritis.
Furthermore, sunlight increases levels of the chemical serotonin, which makes you feel good. You feel better when exposed to sunlight. Thus a day in the sun at the beach can improve your mental health and make you feel happier.
Also, saltwater is loaded with good minerals while sand has wonderful exfoliating qualities, which is really good for your skin. However, make sure to avoid hot midday sun and use a sunscreen.
Salutogenic Approach To Health
In today’s world of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and the burgeoning stress-related mental ailments we need to adopt a salutogenic approach, one that focuses on factors that support health and wellbeing, beyond a more traditional, ‘pathogenic’ focus on illness and disease.
And what better way than to go back to nature. It is restorative, healing and spiritually uplifting.
We just need to switch off our eletronic devices and enjoy the natural wonders of this universe. There is no better way to reset our disrupted mental and physical balance than by listening to the sound of waves, or birds tweeting or watching in awe a beautiful sunset. When the mind shifts from the ordinary to the extraordinary our lives change from mundane to magical.
Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better physically and emotionally, but it also lifts you to a deeply spiritual level. You truly begin living in Paradise!!!