Could Ecotherapy (Being in Nature) Relieve Your Stress?

Nature:  Free and Easy Cure to Anxiety and Depression

Did you know that most Americans suffer from nature deficit disorder?  A typical American spends 80-90% of their time indoors- and sadly too much of that time is spent sitting.  The more time people spend inside, the more anxious an depressed they get.  The solution is simple and free: spend time outside in nature.   Doing so can:

• Cut anxiety and depression

• Boost feelings of well-being

• Improve your health and reduce blood pressire

• Increase your social interaction with others

• Improve your breathing and intake of Vitamin D if you spend 20 minutes in the sun

Gardeners have long understood this, as having your hands in soil relieves stress and connects you to the earth.  Doing so helps you get out of your head and your worries, and enables you to focus on the present- one of the keys to being happier.

David Strayer, a psychologist at the University of Utah, takes students out in nature  to reconnect with their creative problem-solving and mental clarity.  With so many distractions and constant technological stimulation, our brains get tired and don’t function as clearly as they should.  His backpacking group of Outward Bound participants did 50 percent better on creative problem-solving after only three days in the wilderness.1

So the next time you are feeling down or overwhelmed, get outside in nature.  Just 20 minutes can revive your body, mind and spirit.

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©2017, Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. You may share this post and reprint with author reference and copyright.

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Staying Healthy as a Way to Keep Fired Up!

Warren Whitlock, author of Twitter Revolution, wrote of my last post that he wanted more information about how to prevent illness. So for my friend Warren and the rest of my friends, new and old, here are some stress management tips and health tips to help prevent illness.

be proactive, especially when it comes to your teeth. A recent tough lesson for me came when I ground my teeth so badly that I abraded my front tooth. My dentist told me it was infected and required a root canal in a few weeks! Uggh! Teeth grinding is a very common problem, and it results in broken teeth, TMJ, headaches, neck aches and shoulder problems. Fortunately, it can be treated with cranial-sacral work, massage, mouthguards and good dental care.

• Find a way to exercise that’s fun for you, and do it three-four times a week for 30 minutes. The best way is one that does not feel like work. Get an exercise buddy and go to the gym together, go for walks and catch up on your day, or do a sport you love. My husband and I are ballroom dancers, and it’s a great workout that is fun and challenging. Find what you enjoy.

Watch your food consumption, especially sugar and sugar substitutes. Over 1 billion people worldwide are obese, and many of them are diabetic. Read Sugar Blues by William Dufty to learn about the dangers of sugar, and check on-line studies on how sugar substitutes can damage your liver and kidney. I have a sweet tooth, so I use stevia, which is an herb with no calories and no side effects. Check with your doctor for what works best for you.

Get enough sleep- 7 hours of more. The World Health Organization says less than 7 hours may be a carcinogen- cancer-causing agent!1 Less than 7 hours lowers your immune function, makes you 3x more susceptible to colds, contributes to diabetes and creates a large drop in concentration and productivity. 40% of Americans are sleep deprived, are you one of them?2

Be careful of dependency on outside stimulants, whether they’re caffeine, alcohol, prescription drugs, or sleep aids. All of these can wreak havoc on your immune system and you body’s ability to relax naturally. A study published in Harvard Science Review said that walnuts and molasses may be just as effective at fighting depression as prescription drugs!3

Spend time in nature. Nature is soothing to the system on so many levels, from the physical contact of bare feet on sand, to the soothing relief of negative ions from oceans or waterfalls. Drink in the beauty of a crimson sunset on a lake, giggle as sea gulls dive for a piece of bread, or inhale the soft fragrance of a fresh rosebud. Nature is healing; spend time outside.

This is part one. Share your suggestions with me for more tips on staying healthy! Write me at
1 Fisher, Anne, “ Make sleep work for you” Fortune Small Business, Sept. 2008, p.86-90

2 Schwab, Dave, “Study: Naps improves brain power,” La Jolla Light, CA, April 1, 2009

3 . “Eat your way happy and healthy,” Woman’s World, May 5 2008, p.12