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Getting Back to the Basics for Your Mental Well-Being

By Stephen R. Farris

When anxiety, depression, or stress gets you down, try letting nature help you break out of your funky feeling. Nature therapy, or more commonly referred to as ecotherapy, can have a positive effect on your mental well-being.

Ecotherapy is -- in a nutshell -- getting back in touch with nature. This can be from gardening, or something as simple as sitting on a park bench watching birds or other types of animals you'd see in a park setting. There are plenty of different paths you can follow when it comes to ecotherapy.

Get Back to the Basics

Getting back to the basics, such as camping or spending a day hitting the rapids, is a great way to help ease the anxiety, depression, or stress you're feeling. The outdoors can help teach us coping skills and therapeutic techniques.

Go Bathing in the Forest

Not literally. Bathing in the forest means going to a spot that has lots of trees. It gives you the chance to focus more on your five senses and drink in your environment. For instance, while walking around, or sitting on a fallen log, close your eyes for a moment to breathe in some fresh air. With eyes still closed, listen to what's around you. Just doing these two things can leave a calming effect on your mental well-being. 

Find a Pet

If you don't own a pet, find one. Pets are a great way to help you feel less stressed, less depressed, and lower your feelings of anxiety. For example, I do not own a pet (due to apartment rules), but my neighbor across the street has a dog that likes to get out while they are at work. I find it very therapeutic just talking to the dog and petting him on the head when he feels like getting close. Other times, I may simply sit on the porch and watch the birds and squirrels play.

Meditation Exercise

There are many meditation exercises to choose from. Some of these include yoga and tai chi, and both can be done outside. Yoga and tai chi require simple movements, with emphasis on breathing technique. Being outdoors to perform either meditation exercise is an added bonus, and can be very calming and relaxing.

When it comes to your mental well-being, talk with your primary care physician and/or your local chiropractor. They can offer tips and suggestions to help you break out of that funky feeling caused by anxiety, depression, and/or stress.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cypress, Tex.

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