Contact With Nature as Therapy

Contact With Nature as Therapy

Feeling good? Get outside and enjoy life!

Feeling not so good; maybe even down? Get outside and enjoy some nature therapy!

Walking in the park, hiking in the bush, camping in the wilderness … finding one of these types of nature activities you enjoy will help you enjoy more of everything …

via Psychology Today by Steve Taylor


  • A massive amount of research shows that contact with nature is therapeutic, leading to the term ecotherapy.
  • In Japan, forest bathing is an important aspect of preventative medicine.
  • Contact with nature is therapeutic because it has a meditative effect and because we feel an instinctive sense of “at-home-ness” in nature.
Flickr/Martin Gommell

Source: Flickr/Martin Gommell

At the moment, it’s ‘grading time’ at my university. The other day, I felt tired and dazed after reading about 15,000 words of students’ papers. My mind was so clouded that I felt that I couldn’t read another word. I needed a break, but rather than going for a lie-down, I decided to go for a walk in the woods.

I walked for about an hour, staring at the trees and leaves and watching the stream flow downhill. After a while, I left the woods and wandered through some fields overlooking the town. It was a windy day, and I felt invigorated, watching the long grass and flowers tilting to one side and the clouds above me flowing quickly by.

When I got back home, I felt rejuvenated. My mind felt clear and fresh, and I was ready to carry on wading through my students’ papers.

One way of explaining this experience is in terms of what the psychologists Stephen and Rachel Kaplan called attention restoration theory. This describes how contact with nature can replenish our mental resources, particularly after a long time in the stressful, energy-draining environment of the city.

Kaplan and Kaplan described four stages of restoration, beginning with a clearing of the mind, in which thoughts begin to slow down and fade away. The second stage is mental fatigue recovery when we de-focus our attention and allow our mental energies to recharge. Then we gently focus our attention on the natural environment, which further reduces the chatter of our minds, almost as if we are meditating. Finally, we enter a stage of ‘reflection and restoration’ in which we fully relax, feel a sense of mental freshness, and are able to reflect anew on our lives and our goals

… keep reading the full & original article HERE