Find Help And Healing In Nature
Written by Sheri Gallagher, in Section Articles
Nature holds inside of it tremendous healing power.
Every moment of each day, the cycles and systems of nature are constantly self-renewing. Nature arises in full beauty and power even after the harshest winter. Likewise, each person has the ability to rise up after life’s setbacks.
We are all part of nature, but it’s easy to forget just how much potential nature has to help us heal and move forward from difficulty. Merely spending time outside produces amazing effects on the brain that helps moderate stress, regulate emotion, improve sleep, and more.
These effects are particularly valuable for adolescents and young adults struggling with trauma, mental illness, and other issues. Wilderness therapy allows them to benefit from all nature has to offer while alleviating environmental “bad influences” that factor into their struggles.
Since the beginning, people have gone into nature to seek wisdom and ask the big questions about life. Now, wilderness therapy unites that common human spirit with scientifically proven approaches that can give even the most troubled young person a new perspective on life.
Some challenges that wilderness therapy helps include:
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Many problems we encounter every day can serve as emotional “triggers” that make substance abuse more difficult to overcome. Some of these include feelings of isolation, stress, and social connections with negative or enabling people. By offering freedom from these influences in a calm and rejuvenating atmosphere, wilderness therapy can provide clarity to sufferers.
Anxiety in young people often comes from low self-esteem. When they internalize the idea they cannot “fit in,” peers become a threat that produces physical and psychological strain. Anxiety can also be caused by unresolved trauma. Therapy in nature gives children time to process emotions and learn new coping mechanisms while released from the nagging doubts that inhibit growth.
Depression isn’t just a “down mood.” It’s a long-lasting condition where emotions, thoughts, and even bodily sensations work together to present an exhausting, saddening picture of the world – often leaving sufferers feeling numb, empty, tired, and alone. Nature helps break the neurochemical cycle: Even simple things like sunlight and fresh air produce profound positive effects quickly.
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