From A Therapist: How To Feel Better By Connecting With Nature

Are you aware that there are lots of things to consider when it comes to improving your mental health? According to a therapist, everyone needs to focus on his or her psychological wellness because it can turn his world around. It is the primary reason why he also emphasized giving attention to one’s physical health is not enough if you want to have a happy life. As such, you need to make it a top priority to make sure that you are fully aware of what is going on in your life so that you can achieve an excellent state of mind.

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In today’s article, we are going to share with you one of the top ways on how you can start feeling better about your life by establishing a connection with nature. Before anything else, we want to reiterate that getting over a depression or eliminating stress in your life does not have to be expensive. Sometimes, all you must do is to get in touch with the gift of nature and use it to your advantage. Below is a list of things that you can do for your mental health:

Meditate In A Park

Meditation can do a lot of wonders in your life. The best thing about it is that you can meditate without spending big bucks. If you have a hectic schedule, you can complete your daily meditation at your backyard area. On the other hand, if you can fit in such activity in your hectic schedule, then be sure to do it in a park. In so doing, you are allowing yourself to let go of stress and anxiety. The surrounding greeneries around you will make you feel brand new. However, we highly recommend that you look for a quiet park where you can be one with yourself. Do not be afraid to go out of your comfort zone.

Do Your Morning Jogs

“Exposure to nature enhances the ability to cope with and heal from stress and recover from injury or illness more quickly.”  Dr. Carlene Taylor, LMHC, LPC, CPCS, NCC said. With that, start your day right by engaging in physical activity. Give yourself a chance to explore the beauty of your neighborhood while doing something great for yourself. Keep in mind that morning jogs can help in pre-conditioning your mind for the day. The more you do it regularly, the better your mood will become. Take note that exercising is great not only for your physical wellness but also for your mental health. Aside from this, it will also enable you to take notice of the beautiful nature surrounding you. Take some time to smell the flowers and reward yourself with some good vibes.

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Go To The Beach

The next idea may require you to spend some bucks, but do not worry because you only need a minimal amount to enjoy the beach. Besides, “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said. All that you must do is to check the nearby beach resort in your area. Once you have chosen the location, start to select a date for your getaway. You can enjoy solitude at the beach or invite some of your friends to come over. The decision depends on your choices and preferences. Nonetheless, do not forget to find some company if you feel that you are going through depression. Now is not the right time to be alone but to surround yourself with the right people.

Travel To A Nearby Town

Another option that you have to consider is to travel to a nearby town where you can explore new places. That is because “Vacations are coping mechanisms that help us adapt to the everyday stresses in our lives.” John Mayer, PhD said. Do not be afraid to go to unfamiliar areas, as long as you have researched about the location ahead of time. The best thing about traveling is that it enables you to expose yourself to a new environment. Sometimes, you will be surprised at how you can react to particular circumstances or situations that will come your way. When it comes to traveling to a city near your residence, it is ideal to look for someone who can go with you. It is not only for your safety but also to ensure that you will get the best time ever.

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Conclusion

Do not wait before it is too late to give focus or attention to your mental wellness. Be mindful of the reality that the number of people who have committed suicide has risen over the years. This number tells us that the issues on mental health are serious. One must not take it for granted. At the same time, if you know someone who is going through a mental breakdown or concern, be sure to make yourself available for the said person.

The Environment’s Impact On An Individual’s Mental Health

Some of the critical factors that contribute to an individual’s growth and development include their genetics, the environment of their upbringing, education, culture, and so much more. By far, the factor that may happen to contribute the most would be their environment. Some psychologists have linked not only an individual’s development but as well as their mental state to the environment they live in. Our environment may come in two forms – physical and social environment.

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Physical Environment

According to Marjie L. Roddick, MA, NCC, LMHC “Your environment, both your social and natural surroundings, can greatly impact how you feel.” Our physical environment involves the things that we physically see or feel around us. These may come from the heat of the weather or the workplace we go to every morning. Some suggest that this affects our biology or neurochemistry in some way, thus causing the disorder. Didn’t know that these changed us in some way? Well here are four sources and its effect on your mental health.

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  1. Noisy Public Areas

We all get annoyed by the heavy traffic. The loud sound coming from the trucks and cars on the road can get irritating to the point that we end up falling heavily asleep once we get home. Numerous studies have linked a noisy environment to increased depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, and heart disease. According to some researchers, this increase in the likelihood of such mental disorders caused by stressful experiences. The experience an individual receives from a stressful noise translates in the brain’s amygdala. Here, the brain gets a distress signal which it sends to the Hypothalamus. The adrenaline glands are then triggered by the hypothalamus, therefore, causing physiological changes in the body.

  1. Air Pollution

Several researchers have also looked in the connection of mental health issues to toxic air caused by air pollution. Surprisingly, they found out that this is associated with dementia, as well as a possible cause for behavioral changes, which can lead to social isolation and decreased levels of physical activities.

  1. Weather Condition

Climate change is the main contributor to changes in an area’s weather conditions. Unfortunately, not only does it have a significant effect on ecosystems and daily activities, but it is also responsible for affecting an individual’s mental health. Trauma from natural disasters such as floods can often lead to losing a home or loved one, thus, leading to post-traumatic stress disorders. Studies have also shown how rainy weather often links to depression. Prolonged drought has also been identified to increase anxiety. In general, one can receive seasonal affective disorders from weather conditions.

  1. Cluttered Workspaces

“Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.” Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. said. A cluttered workspace can not only be distracting, but it can also be bad for one’s mental health. Researchers have linked this to stress, anxiety, and burning out. Having a lot of things in front of you can get overwhelming. It can also be a huge frustration that can lead to mood swings. Therefore, you should start cleaning your space.

Social Environment                                             

Even our social environment has a significant effect on our mental health. It comes in the form of our relationships with people, people’s perceptions of socioeconomic, and racial conditions. These factors can all have a significant influence on one’s mental health. Here are three of the most common causes.

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  1. Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can be a nightmare to most parents. Research has determined peer pressure to push children to use drugs, drinking alcohol, depression, and anxiety. With the wrong and corrupt group of people, peer pressure can lead to significantly damaging effects on your child’s life. It makes it even difficult for them to adjust to their environment and the people around them. Make sure to notice the early signs such as their sleeping and eating habits, or their poor school performance. Remember, “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating.” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. said.

  1. Family Problems

Family problems can result in anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases, post-traumatic stress disorders. Family problems have the most considerable effect on children. These can come in the form of prolonged abuse from parents, hearing continual arguments between their parents, or family feuds between relatives. These do not only negatively affect their mental health, but it also promotes unhealthy growth and development.

  1. Lack Of A Support System

What’s worse compared to not having someone to share your worries with? We usually look for someone to share and seek some advice from. Friends and family can serve as a tremendous help to enable you to cope up with the stresses you receive from school, work, or anywhere else. A strong bond between such people can feel very uplifting and encouraging.

It is essential that we observe and pay attention to our environment. Now that we know the different ways it can affect us and our mental health, we should be more careful. Always consider these things when you feel like you’re having a bad day.