Overcome Stress and Depression: Nature as Therapy

Connie's Favorite Nature Spot

Connie's Favorite Nature Spot

How Can Women over 50 Reduce Stress and Depression? Take a Hike!

A staggering 80% of us live in urban areas — a statistic that illustrates just how many of us might be disconnected from the natural world. This is a shame, as studies have repeatedly shown that our psychological well-being is heavily impacted by our surroundings. Increasingly, nature and exposure to the outdoors — in the form of hospital gardens, group hikes, and horticulture classes ¬†— are being used as a form of therapy for those suffering from depression, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, muscle tension, and more. Scientists have found that merely being in the presence of greenery helps lower our systolic blood pressure and improve our mental faculties.

Since the evidence suggests nature and sunlight give us better energy, vitality, and the ability to relax, why not incorporate a few of these things into our daily lives?

  • Take a short walk — 20 minutes in the sun provides valuable vitamin D, which helps us absorb nutrients, regulates blood pressure, and promotes good bone health (great for women 50 plus!), skin elasticity, and cardiovascular health.
  • Stargaze! Take a few minutes in the evening to admire the moon and watch the sky light up.
  • Plant a vegetable garden — what better way to surround yourself with nature than to cultivate healthy organic produce?
  • Organize a picnic lunch to enjoy with friends in the park.
  • Make a point to catch the sunrise or sunset at least once a week.
  • Whenever you’re outside — walking to the park, the post office, or a friend’s house — take time to notice the flowers, trees, leaves, spiderwebs, and other instances of natural beauty.
  • Put a birdfeeder in your backyard. Birdwatching can be a tremendously enjoyable and stress-relieving act!
  • There are other ways to bring nature indoors with you:
    • Indoor plants are great; they cleanse the air, and caring for them provides a soothing, therapeutic activity.
    • Treat yourself to a small water fountain. The natural sound of moving water can greatly reduce stress.
    • Playing CDs that contain nature sounds can help you relax. At your desk, or wherever you choose, close your eyes, listen and breathe deeply for a few minutes.
    • Try putting up pictures of nature on your computer desktop to enjoy in passing.

One of the wonderful things about nature is the myriad of ways we can enjoy it. I’d love to hear your favorite methods of appreciation!

To your deep inner peace and joy, Connie

SAVE THE DATE: A “Joy after Fifty” Women’s Retreat

WHEN: The weekend beginning 11-11-11!! An auspicious date for personal transformation. This event will be powerful!

WHERE: The beautiful Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma, Ca. Take a peek:   http://westranch.com/

WHAT: To get on the list for more information: CLICK HERE

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