One thing you’ll see a lot on this site–in fact, its raison d’être–is the idea that nature is good for you. And indeed many people will report that they feel better after a weekend camping, or at least a few hours spent wandering a lovely green park. But what’s actually going on in your mind and body when you get outside? Here are just a few of the beneficial effects you may be experiencing:
- A decrease in blood flow to parts of the brain that fuel rumination. Rumination is what happens when you can’t get your mind to stop chewing on something negative or worrisome, and is particularly common in people experiencing depression. (Source.)
- A 20% increase in memory performance, attention, and other improvements in cognitive function. It’s also connected to a lowered rate of ADHD in children, and lowered symptoms in people with ADHD. (Source, source, source, source.)
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Posted in For Everyone
Tagged client, counseling, counselor, ecopsychology, ecotherapist, ecotherapy, emotional health, healing, health, health care, mental health, mental illness, nature, nature therapy, physical health, preventative medicine, psychology, research, science, stress, studies, therapist, therapy, wellness
Vitamin N: 500 ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016
I admit I’m something of a Richard Louv fangirl. I’ve loved his writing since his first book, Last Child in the Woods, came out in 2008. While I don’t have any children of my own, I still very strongly remember being a kid growing up in the 1980s, running rampant across our small-town Midwest neighborhood. Long summer days of looking for bugs under rocks, exploring the nooks and crannies in moss, and pushing my way through thickets of young Eastern red cedar set the stage for who I am as an adult. I mourn the fact that so many people in the decades since then have missed out on that experience.
This, then, is Louv’s practical antidote to our ongoing disconnection from nature. There really are five hundred ideas in this text, ranging from picking out a particular place in nature to sit and visit every day, to turning your back yard into a butterfly haven, to taking up birding. Many of them are geared toward families with children, but even the young at heart can get behind splashing in puddles, making seed bombs, or going on an expedition to find nearby nature, those parks, gardens and other small oases in an urban neighborhood.
Read more here.
Posted in Book Reviews
Tagged children, counseling, counselor, ecopsychology, ecotherapy, family, health, kids, mental health, mental illness, nature, nature deficit disorder, nature therapy, parenting, play, psychology, richard louv, stress, therapist, therapy, Vitamin N, wellness