Find Happiness in Nature
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Articles
Does time spent outdoors make people happier? The answer, science is learning, is yes.
For thousands of years, people have been creating art that glorifies the importance of nature to a life well-lived. However, until recently, many effects of nature on happiness were hard to prove.
Groundbreaking new research has reached conclusions that validate some long-held traditional ideas about the power of nature to help people live fuller, richer lives. The results are remarkable.
One of the most interesting outcomes of modern research is the concept called earthing. In short, earthing is the idea that direct contact with the ground, grass, sand, or water improves wellness.
Proponents of earthing have looked to it as a safe, natural, and powerful way to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. That said, many of its most gripping claims could not be validated.
In the last few years, though, earthing has gone from mysticism to scientific reality.
The latest research available has a surprising and valuable message: Earthing works.
This may well be one of most important reasons why wilderness therapy produces such striking outcomes for adolescents and teens in crisis: Direct contact with earth restores mind and body.
Out in Nature, Youngsters “Get Grounded” in More Ways Than One
Americans spend about 93% of their time in enclosed indoor spaces – and kids are no different.
In fact, year after year, children are likely to spend less time outside than ever before. Many factors contribute to this, including the perception of greater dangers in the outside world, pressing after-school obligations, and electronic distractions that present tempting reasons to stay in.
There are many systems in the brain and body that promote the attainment of lasting well-being. Resilient happiness is only possible when most of these are efficiently working together. As it turns out, spending enough time outdoors could be the key that helps them collaborate.
Direct skin contact with the earth out in nature can:
Inflammation is part of virtually any type of injury. Chronic inflammation throughout the body stresses the organs, saps energy, and causes greater sensitivity to stress. Earthing protects the body from chronic inflammation, making its processes much more efficient.
Of course, inflammation starts instantly whenever someone is wounded. Even the smallest scrape provokes inflammation responses – and when that response is too intense, it can be painful and limiting. Earthing helps regulate acute inflammation and accelerate healing.
Poor sleep is associated with many issues teens and adolescents face: Anxiety, depression, peer pressure, and more not only worsen sleep, but tend to get worse because of that lack of sleep. Regular earthing is shown to restore the body’s circadian rhythm, its natural sleep-wake clock.
Intense, chronic stress can make it harder for young people to manage their emotions and cope with the challenges of life. Earthing can curb stress by helping to balance cortisol, the stress hormone, and related chemical markers. Of course, better sleep helps, too!
Enhance Immune Response
Sometimes, as young people work through complex emotional issues, they might be more prone to illness than they were before. It is believed that electrons interacting with the body from direct contact with the ground can make immune responses more efficient.
In the long run, all these results promote overall happiness.
Of course, there’s much to be learned about earthing and its effects on wellness. And earthing is just one part of an overall course of wilderness therapy. However, it may just shed light on a big reason therapy outdoors can be so transformative for adolescents and teens.
To learn more, just contact WinGate.