Nature has a way of bringing out the best in us despite what we may be going through in our personal or work life. A short trip to the mountains can be a refreshing detour for our body, mind, and soul to collect our thoughts and let us see life from a different perspective. Megan Delaney, an assistant professor in the Department of Professional Counseling at Monmouth University in NJ, says that our current culture is spending 90 percent of our time indoors. Urbanization and technological advances have disconnected us from nature and the natural world (Counseling Today, 2018). This disconnection and distance humans have put against nature have affected the increasing rise in our stress level in our day to day living. As humans, we were meant to be one with nature.
Through the natural world, we see what is impossible, made possible. The smallest of details are somehow aligned and built among one another, creating a magnificent landscape that encompasses all parts of the senses. It is through this perspective that nature subconsciously can shift our mindset and let us reconnect with it.
Going out to the mountains just for a hike or a weekend camping trip can help us incorporate a type of “ecotherapy/green therapy” into our lives. Ecotherapy can help improve our mental well being and set us up for a positive mood adjustment. Nature’s healing power is more powerful than we think. It awakens our sense of hearing, vision, and smell, letting us experience nature’s music therapy, color therapy, and aromatherapy. We hear birds chirping, natural running water, the rustling of leaves which gives way to solace, peace, and concentration.
Color therapy seen in nature such as the greens in the trees, the colorful faunas, grasslands, the rise of the sun, and sunset across the sky with the different hues help stabilize our mood by offering an aesthetic landscape. The smell of nature further uplifts our spirits, with its aromatherapy effects. Fragrances of flowers, wet soil, evergreens, and woodsy scents encircle the air. These smells enhance our sense of creativity, motivation, inspiration, and self-awareness. With all our senses heightened, our mental health can only be improved. With all the benefits of going outside and experiencing nature, it is no wonder that outdoor enthusiasts have more energy, spirit, and a kind of radiance about them. Try taking a trip away from the city and into the mountains this coming weekend and experience it for yourself. You will discover a kinder, calmer, and more energetic side of you that is waiting to express itself.