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How Can Nature Help With Healing?

When you experience mental illnesses and addiction, you often feel trapped in your head. Dual diagnosis is difficult. You’re often either thinking about substances, spiraling with anxiety, or so depressed that you’re internally critiquing yourself. It’s important to find a way to control your thoughts. Some of this can occur in traditional therapeutic methods. Holistic therapies can offer just as many benefits, including spending time outdoors. Specifically, going out into nature can help you heal.

Reflecting in Nature

For many people, as problems get bigger, reality gets smaller. You might find your thoughts consumed by the problems you are facing. It’s a matter of perspective, though. When you’re outside, you can connect with a world much bigger than yourself. You can ground yourself through your senses—the smell of trees, the feeling of your shoes on dirt, and the sound of rustling leaves. Walking in nature or sitting outside can help you find an internal balance.

Stress Benefits

Many doctors are beginning to prescribe “nature pills” after the stress relief found in a 2019 study published by Frontiers in Psychology. A nature pill is a prescribed amount of time to engage in nature. In this study, doctors measured two physiological stress markers — salivary cortisol and salivary amylase — before and after going outside daily. All of the participants went outside for at least ten minutes, three times a week. The best results were found when participants sat and walked in nature for 20-30 minutes. Under these circumstances, the salivary cortisol levels dropped 21.3%, and salivary amylase dropped 28.1% per hour. With this in mind, you may want to consider doing this on your own.

Mental Health Benefits

In addition to the stress benefits, a 2019 study published in Scientific Reports confirmed that nature can help mental health. The study examined the effect of spending time in nature on overall physical and mental health. In a sample of 20,000 people, spending time in nature for 120-300 minutes (two to five hours) every week significantly improved mental health ratings. The benefits peaked at the five-hour mark. This stayed consistent regardless of sex, urbanicity, age, ability status, and occupational prestige. Considering the findings of this large-scale study, you might find your mental health improving by incorporating regular nature exposure into your schedule.

Nature is a beautiful and peaceful way to help yourself heal from mental illness and addiction. By taking time outside, you can lower your stress hormones and ease your symptoms. Being in nature allows you to be fully present in the moment. At The Guest House, we boast a 52-acre property in Silver Springs, Florida. Our facility allows you to engage in adventure therapy, equine therapy, or outdoor yoga. Combining these with traditional therapies will help you heal from complex mental health issues. When you’re ready to heal your mind, call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800.