Green Therapy, also known as Nature Therapy, is a wonderful key to emotionally healthy living.
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In generations past, our ancestors were always outside. It was the way of life to farm, to sit around the fire, to be nomadic, and things like that. But in the last few decades people have moved indoors (some pretty much exclusively), and it is taking its toll.
Psychology Today ran an article stating that green therapy is just as effective against depression as traditional psychotherapy or medication, and it’s free! That is amazing!
Growing Up Outdoors
I have always enjoyed being outside, enjoying it more in some seasons of life than others. I grew up on acreage with woods. My mom had a horse and I had a pony (pictured below). I loved riding with her, as well as the smell of the horses and sweet feed.
I remember watching my grandfather kill a copperhead snake, looking forward to the cherry blossoms coming out each spring, and driving around in my family’s golf cart every chance I could. There was something so simple about that season of my life, and looking back I really cherish those memories.
Life went on, I got married, and eventually moved to the suburbs. Our yard was tiny, and we could barely plant tomato plants without them falling over into the neighbor’s yard. We maintained family walks, and I always loved them, but I was losing connection with nature.
Then we ended up moving from the East Coast to Redding, California. If you’ve ever been to Northern California, you know how beautiful it is. The ocean, the Redwoods, the rivers and mountains. AHHHH! I found nature again, and this time green therapy had its grip on me for good.
I loved our years living there, in large part because of the beauty that surrounded me. My heart was alive, and Redding was my happy place.
China Blues Needing Green Therapy
A few years ago, we found ourselves living in China. One main hesitation I had about moving there was living in the “concrete jungle.” Never mind we didn’t speak a word of Chinese, had never been there, and didn’t know one person there.
But where would nature be? I knew the city we were moving to had over 7 MILLION PEOPLE!! And they all lived on top of each other. Our time there was good, but lack of nature continued to be a challenge for me all the time we were there.
Back to the US
Then when my family and I moved back to the US from China after our 3.5 years living there, all I wanted to do was receive from my Green Therapy.
Our move back was difficult as most transitions are. We spent the first few weeks living in an RV in places like Yosemite and Sequoia National Forests. I could have stayed there forever it seemed like.
We had been under a lot of emotional stress before we returned, and the way my mind and body knew to make sense of it was to be in nature. My mind grew peaceful, the worry began to leave, hope began to be restored, and I was so thankful.
Watching the waterfalls, hiking, looking for bears, and seeing the wonder in my kids’ faces helped ease the pain for each of us in different ways.
What Green Therapy Adventures Do You Love?
Nature can be so simple to receive from, and the possibilities of what we can do are endless. Your style may be fishing, golf, or laying on the beach. Or you may enjoy things like hiking, biking, or even a drive through the mountains.
Whatever your style, make it a priority. It’s great for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
And if you are too busy or live in a concrete jungle, I recommend you to scroll through Johnnie Lawson’s amazing videos on YouTube. His nature videos are not as therapeutic as being out in it, but it’s a close second.
My kids even like to have these videos on in the background while they do homework. It helps their attitudes, and it likely helps all of our attitudes if we are honest!
And if you want a thorough list of 25 of the Best Travel Movies to let you “travel” around the globe to get refreshed, this list is super fun!
Please post your comments and pictures below of your favorite ways to get green therapy in! And don’t forget to share on Pinterest!