Eco Therapy the Power of Nature
In recent years, researchers have become aware of a powerful new kind of therapy, which is just as effective against Depression as traditional Psychotherapy or Meditation. And the amazing thing is that you don’t have to pay for this therapy. It’s free, and completely accessible to anyone at anytime. It’s not even a new therapy either – in fact, it’s even older than the human race.
This is ecotherapy – contact with nature!.
It’s not surprising that nature has a therapeutic effect when you consider that the human race – and all our evolutionary forebears – have been closely bonded with it for all our existence. It’s only in recent times that many of us have been confined to man-made environments.
But as well as helping us to heal our minds, contact with nature can transform us. For several years, I have done research into what I call ‘awakening experiences’ – moments when our vision of our surroundings becomes more intense (so that they become more beautiful and meaningful than normal), and we feel a sense of connectedness to them, and towards other people. The world may somehow seem harmonious and meaningful, as a strong feeling of well-being fills us
For us, contact with green spaces is therefore like going back home, and fills us with the same sense of safety and belonging. We crave nature in the same way that a child needs a mother, and derive the same feeling of comfort from it.
But the main reason why nature can heal and transform us, I believe, is because of its calming and ‘’mind-quietening’’ effect. In nature, our minds process a lot less information than normal, and they don’t wear themselves out by concentrating. And most importantly, the beauty and majesty of nature acts a little like a mantra in Meditation ,slowing down the normal ‘thought-chatter’ which runs chaotically through our minds. As a result, an inner stillness and energy fills us, generating a glow of being and intensifying our perceptions.