Our Good Health & Nature – It’s a Two-Way Street!
In this day and age, more and more people are suffering from a variety of illnesses that stem completely from anxiety issues. More and more heart attacks, strokes, black outs, etc., that are related to tension and stress, are being reported by the medical community. In other words, healthcare issues that used to be blamed on living in ‘fast paced’ cities or only eating fast food, are now being blamed on simple everyday life.
This is no surprise, actually, when you look at the economy, jobless rates, people trying their absolute best to raise families while working hard to hold onto their homes…life has become one great big ball of stress and there are very few things that will help in this anxiety-ridden world. Enter…the environment.
Over the decades, we have seen how ‘green’ facets are now a part of everything from the clothing industry to home building to jewelry making to weddings – anything you can think of, actually, has a hand in the ‘green’ world. Therefore, it should not shock anyone to learn that by being a part of nature – by actually placing ourselves in the green world that surrounds us each and every day (even the parks located in those big, bustling cities) tension and anxiety can be calmed. This means less and less people will be going to their doctors and trying their best to get their health back on track.
I’m not just speaking about therapies; such as, if you go for a walk in the woods your mind will be clear. No, I am talking about truly hands-on healing that comes from being a part of nature. Medical and health issues have been researched by many, and it has been proven that nature makes a person feel better, decreases stress levels (which decreases physical pain) and improves psychological and mental health – without having to pay out millions to doctors and heath insurance companies just to get a ‘pill.’
There are many organizations worldwide that offer studies and analysis in regards to improving health by ‘going green.’ One of the most prominent is www.greenexercise.org which is based in the UK. They have played a part in a slew of therapeutic and health studies, and have shown that having the least bit of contact with “green spaces” has not only helped people to relax but has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is necessary in order for people to cam down and recharge their batteries – both physically and mentally.
In a project called the “Wilderness Foundation’s ‘TurnAround’ Community Project,” a combination of wilderness trail experiences, monthly personal development workshops and one-on-one coaching absolutely proved with tangible data to show that people’s outlooks were changed, depression was lifted in various candidates and self-esteem, social skills and life skills were increased. In other words, the brain received mental stimulation from the great outdoors. The aim of the project was to encourage disaffected young people to make long term positive changes, which it most certainly proved to do.
Fluctuations occurred in all areas of mental and physical improvement throughout the duration of the program, but improvements from levels taken at the start of the project to the final day were seen across the board. In other words, exercise in nature improved both mood, self-esteem and physical fitness. This is in comparison to other studies that only involved counseling/coaching as well as a fitness program. ‘Green exercise’ proved to be the overall best way of achieving the physical and mental fitness that people need in order to live healthier and longer lives.
Everyone knows that walking is actually a far better form of fitness than any of the spas or exercise facilities across the globe. Although exercise technology and lifting weights, etc., can help lose weight and build muscle, they can not help with mental health or take away the stress and tension that are the catalysts for making people more and more ill as the years go by.
In addition, even though there are a ton of pills, medicines, drugs, etc., that can be prescribed to help tension and anxiety – they also do not compare with a person’s exercise program in green surroundings. Pills are chemicals for the most part and the side effects are usually far more dangerous and can add stress and tension to a person’s heart and brain, whereas a simple thirty-minute a day walk or stroll through the great outdoors has no side effects and can bring a person ultimate health if done on a regular basis.
The ‘green movement’ grows on a daily basis with therapy coming in the form of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, Animal Assisted Therapies, Wilderness Therapy, Ecotherapy, and even Care Farming. And more and more data is collected that shows the common link between good health and nature. So, honestly, when you feel tired or think that nature is just something we’re ‘trying to save’ for the next generation, the one thing we should all remember is that green data is not just false talk or a political platform. In essence, helping nature is a must! Because nature – above anything else – helps US survive!
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