This year’s World Forestry Conference presented interesting findings about the connection between forests (and other green spaces) and both mental and physical health. Incorporating daily ‘nature therapy’ through time spent outdoors may help people remain physically healthier and more psychologically balanced. Researchers have found that in outdoor settings, stress hormone levels, blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate all decrease faster than they do indoors. Likewise, symptoms of depression, aggressiveness, and anger (in adults) and ADHD (in children) are all lowered in green environments. Accessible forests and urban green spaces aren’t full-fledge solutions to mental and physical health problems, but they are environments that certainly do promote health. Regularly time spent outdoors may serve as a sort of mini-therapy, allowing both mind and body to recalibrate.
© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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