Nature is Good for Mental Health. There is a name for this: ecotherapy.
Have you ever come home from a day in the countryside and felt… better? Mood altered, anxiety soothed, mind hushed? It seems obvious that getting out of the clanging grind of the city every once in a while might be good for your mental health, but recently, scientists have been working out whether flowers, grass, trees, and wild animals could be used to treat depression or anxiety.
The field of ecotherapy—the idea of connecting to nature to aid your well-being—isn’t new. In his 1984 book Biophilia, Edward O. Wilson put forward a theory that the affiliation we have with nature is rooted in our biology and genetics. Around the same time Wilson was writing, Japanese doctors began to prescribe forest bathing for optimum health. In Norway, 19th-century poet Henrick Ibsen coined the word “friluftsliv”—meaning “open-air living,” which soon turned into a Scandinavian cultural phenomenon. But until recently, strong scientific evidence to back up anecdotal evidence that nature is good for your mental health was scant. That’s changing, however.
Continue reading: How Nature Benefits Your Mental Health