Five Ways Nature is The Perfect Natural Healing Therapy
It’s common practice to seek answers from a doctor when our body, mind or spirit isn’t feeling well. Yet what if solutions to our ailments aren’t found behind four walls, but when sitting on green grass, putting our feet in water or walking in a forest of trees?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 87% of their life indoors and another 6% in automobiles. Only 7% of our entire life is spent outdoors! And yet, recent studies published in Environmental Science and Technology found that getting outside for as little as five minutes per day improves both mood and self-esteem!
As a Professional Coach, Natural Energy Healer and Wilderness Guide, I have the honor of watching clients transform when hiking trails to the bottom and out of the Grand Canyon. Not only do I see their bodies push through the physical aspect of adventuring, but I also witness what happens within their emotional and mental state of being as they experience natural healing therapy.
HOW HIKING IS NATURAL HEALING THERAPY FOR MENTAL HEALTH
No doubt, we have become a society that is addicted to technology. According to eMarketer.com, adults spend over 12 hours and 7 minutes each day consuming media. Our frontal brain is inundated with information! In nature, we are disconnected with technology and connected with the outside world. Thus, our frontal lobe slows and is given much-needed time to rest. At the same time, our cerebellum steps up, inviting creativity and peace.
Without the constant struggle of time and schedules, we are given the opportunity to simply be present in the moment! There are no meetings, kids to tend to, permission slips to sign, or emails to return. Instead, we are provided the opportunity to simply BE WITH WHO WE ARE IN THE MOMENT. What a gift!
OUR PERSPECTIVE SHIFTS
There is nothing greater than seeing an adult who notices something for the first time. If it’s a cloud that looks like an animal, colorful butterflies, singing birds or a Sundog in the sky. We are given the opportunity, in nature, to view what we otherwise don’t see behind four walls. Emotionally, in the moment, we are allowing ourselves to feel awe. And according to a recent study by UC Berkeley, awe — as opposed to joy, pride, amusement, contentment and other positive emotions — is the singular sensation that goes the furthest in boosting one’s overall sense of well-being.
For our own mental, physical and emotional well-being, we must be able to feel our emotions in order to heal! Yet, this can be scary to do! We fear judgement or shame if we suddenly begin crying or releasing anger. But here’s the thing: Mother Nature doesn’t judge. Allowing ourselves to process emotions while hiking in the forest is so freeing and natural! The Forest and Wilderness becomes our sacred container to release our emotions, while also providing the beauty of a vast world that we live in. Where in the city can you get that?
LESSEN PTSD AND ANXIETY
I like to think of the world we live in daily as a “created world” filled with concrete, buildings and workplaces. On the opposite spectrum, in my eyes, the “real world” consists of lakes, streams, oceans and mountains. One of these worlds gives us anxiety and stress, the other does not. Allowing our minds to slow and our bodies to live in the present moment is key to our overall health. According to UC Berkeley research, a week after river-rafting, study cohorts reported, on average, a 29 percent reduction in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, a 21 percent decrease in general stress, a 10 percent improvement in social relationships, a 9 percent improvement in life satisfaction and an 8 percent increase in happiness.
Here’s the best part of it all:
Spending time in Nature does not cost a dime!
We can walk to the park, sit under a tree or simply step outside and look into the sky. The Natural World is available to us on a daily basis. Our only job is to find those five minutes a day.
This guest post was authored by Sara Schulting-Kranz
Sara Schulting-Kranz is a coach, trauma survivor, wilderness and Grand Canyon Specialist. She was a victim of an abusive relationship and turned her trauma recovery into a mission to Lead a Courage-Driven Life. Ms. Schulting-Kranz founded LIVE BOLDLY COACHING, LLC to use nature as a primary healing element. Sara has guided and set a world record with blind Paralympian Shawn Cheshire. Shawn became the ﬁrst female blind woman to hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim to rim.
You can connect with Sara and learn more about natural healing therapy at: [email protected]
Or on Instagram @saraschultingkranz.
Hiking in the forest is so freeing and natural! Just remember to be prepared for your chosen adventure. That includes:
- Having the proper clothing and shoes
- Take water and some kind of energy bar or snack
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll return
- If possible, venture with a friend