Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors, or being around animals can have a positive impact on your mental health.
Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Ecotherapy is a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature. Below are some steps in immersing yourself in your surroundings.
For this exercise you will only need yourself and green space. try a local park, nature reserve or just your backyard.
- Find a green space. When you get there, stop for a moment and take a deep breath.
- Start exploring slowly – try not to focus on getting somewhere in particular. Really focus on any movement you make. If you’re walking, notice which part of your foot touches the ground first, and feel the transfer of weight through your foot.
- Notice the ground underneath you. Is it grass or earth? Does the ground feel soft? What colors can you see?
- Think about the rest of your body – how are you holding your arms? Does the air on your face feel cold or warm?
- Listen to the sounds around you – can you hear birdsong or wind rustling through the leaves or even a car driving off in the distance?
- If you can’t go to green space, you can try opening your window and noticing what’s around you. Notice any clouds in the sky or trees and plants you can see. Can you feel rain, wind, or sun on your skin?
- You could try looking after a plant. Spend time focusing on its scent, shape, and texture. You could try touching some of the leaves or soil and focusing on how it feels.