How Nature Can Help You to Beat Your Depression


Ecotherapy also known as “green therapy” continues to attract the attention of various researchers and common people who are trying hard to overcome the state of depression. Walking in nature is usually associated with meditation and insightfulness, but not long ago it has been proved that nature also has a number of benefits for one’s mental health. Some studies have proved that ecotherapy is associated with many health benefits by relieving the symptoms of depression and making people more active and cheerful. Let us discuss the ways of how nature can help you to deal with depressive disorders.

  • It has been proved that walking in nature like parks or rural areas can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression, raise one’s energy level and improve overall mental state of a person. This means that nature is good for health especially when dealing with so-called “nature deficit disorder” common for people living in urban areas who suffer from lack of fresh air and pollution.
  • Another benefit of nature for human health is that it can actually prevent the development of mental health disorders. Various studies indicate that contact with nature can be used as an early treatment of various disorders that have not yet fully developed. This can prevent the aggravation of one’s mental condition and worsening of a person’s state of health. Nature is good for emotional, mental and physical health all at once.
  • One more study conducted in 2010 indicates that spending only twenty minutes in the fresh air can raise one’s level of energy at the same time enhancing one’s labor productivity. Nature also makes people less susceptible to physical diseases, which is a great benefit for every person who wants to keep fit and be healthy.
  • Another issue that should be noted is that there are drastic differences between mental health of rural dwellers and people living in urban areas. Even though walking in nature can prevent various mental disorders, the prevalence of depression and other mental health problems is much higher among people living in rural areas compared to urban citizens in different countries of the world, including the USA. This is explained by the differing characteristics of the local population. This data has been provided by an investigation conducted by US researchers several years ago. The Canadian researchers, however, have found completely the opposite. They suggest that due to favorable environmental conditions, rural citizens are at a lower risk of developing mental disorders. It is hard to tell who is right, but the truth is that nature still has a positive impact on one’s mental health and the rural citizens might just be more depressed because of poverty they experience in their daily lives, but not the natural environment.
  • It is also suggested that there should be found a balance between social life, walks in natural environment and various other “green” activities that will help you raise your overall state of health and solve the existing health problems. It is true that you can “walk off” a burden of negative emotions and raise your energy level by being close to nature. Nature also helps to release stress, which is especially beneficial for people living in urban areas.
  • The research carried out at the University of Michigan has shown that taking group walks in nature can help to get rid of various mental health problems including depression and improve well-being by decreasing the level of stress. Nature has a positive effect on one’s mood and is especially beneficial for people who have lived through some traumatic events in their life including serious diseases, divorce or death of a close person. Group walks in natural surroundings were proved able to mitigate the impact of traumatic life events, raise one’s productivity and physical activity and improve mental health.
  • Another benefit of walks in nature is that they represent a cheap way of treating depressive disorders, as walking does not require spending money at all. It is an inexpensive way of exercising that helps to maintain mental and physical health. Group walking outdoors is especially beneficial as it represents a non-medicinal approach to treating such serious health conditions as depression.
  • Walking in natural surroundings can also help to treat cardiovascular diseases, strengthen bones and lose weight. Some researchers have even found that it raises one’s creative abilities and facilitates creative thinking. Jogging in particular has been proved to be 50 percent healthier than training in a gym or other kinds of indoor sports. Besides, green therapy helps to transfer our brains into a meditative state, which helps not only to treat depression, but also to solve various life problems as while walking our brain activity is on the rise, and this therefore helps us to find solutions to a number of day-to-day problems.
  • It has been proved that it takes only 5 minutes walking in the forest or any other area with fresh air to improve one’s mental health and raise productivity. A number of studies have shown that outdoor activities are good for our mind. All people are in dire need for closer contact with natural surroundings as it helps to overcome pressure and stress. It helps people to relax and fight depression in a more efficient manner than taking medicines prescribed by doctors. Walking in the nature is a key to good mental and physical health.

To conclude, the positive effects of nature on the health condition of people is often underestimated. However, this aspect deserves special attention particularly for people suffering from depressive disorder. Nature has been proved to be an effective and inexpensive means of treating depression and other mental diseases. It also helps to deal with stress, overcome traumatic events and simply keep fit and be in good shape. That is why the effects of nature on people especially those living in urban areas should not be undermined.

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