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Doctor’s Orders: Spending Time In Nature

Doctor’s Orders: Spending Time In Nature

One week of camping. Two hours of sunshine every day. Three nights a month spent looking at the stars. Dipping your toes in the ocean at least once a week. Take one road trip per year. Spend two weekends a month exploring local nature. Doctors orders.

Perhaps in the immediate future, these may be the notes written on doctor’s prescription pads. Rather than turn to medications or traditional therapeutic applications for healing illness, doctors may start turning to one of man’s oldest remedies: nature. Spending time in nature has a wealth of benefits in mind, body, and spirit. There are few who don’t benefit from spending time outside, in the sunshine, connecting with water, and away from the man made world.

Human beings need to spend time connecting with the natural wonders of the world because it is inherent in the very nature of being human. Hum, the prefix for the word human, translates to something like of the earth. Therefore, a hum-man is a man of the earth. Human beings are not just people, they are beings born of the dirt, soil, rock, sand, and water of the planet. The further away people get from their roots- quite literally their roots in the planet- the more sick and unhappy they seem to become. Yet as soon as they get into open nature, adjust to being away from “civilization” and let go of the anxiety of technological separation, something changes.

Volumes of research have been dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding of exactly how humans are positively affected by time in nature and why it happens. Continuously, researchers find that nature helps us feel more relaxed, at one with ourselves, and feel better about ourselves as well. Camping in nature resets our circadian rhythm. Walking in nature reduces our feelings of depression and anxiety. Spending time in water changes our biochemistry.

Don’t wait for a doctor to start prescribing nature therapy to you. Make the call yourself. Step outside, take a deep breath, and soak up the sunshine.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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