When I used to work as a counselor for People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs), my work was very challenging. Day in and day out my working hours were filled with seeing affected people, watching adults and children die of AIDS, counseling the affected ones and their care-givers, and at the same time I had my own office-related challenging work, seminars, documentations, and so on. Well, the work was endless as well as both physically and emotionally straining. Close to my office was a sea shore. The shore was a rocky one and I could see strong waves lashing the rocks from dawn to dusk. Watching that scene empowered me a lot. Do you know what I used to think? One should be as strong as those rocks. No matter how hard the wave of a challenging situation strikes, we should have all the gut to face it, tear it into pieces and stand strong!
This reflects how helpful and nurturing, empowering and motivating Mother Nature can be for me, for you and for everyone dwelling on this planet. It is true that you may be engrossed or grueling in your daily routine work, personal life, profession, education and so on. But, if you sneak out into the lap of nature for some time…you can find great relief from the stressors and pressures you are facing. All you need is the senses to sense it and wisdom to understand and reflect upon it. Here is how nature acts as a natural healer for different mental health problems and agonies:
|Nature of Therapy||Source||Benefits|
|Music Therapy||Chirping birds, sounds of waves, purling rivers, hustling ‘n’ bustling leaves, sound of a waterfall, drizzling rain, etc||Mental peace and solace, meditative benefits, concentration and memory, helpful in dealing with stress and depression|
|Color Therapy||Colors of lush green trees, grasslands, flowers, fauna, rainbow, changing hues of the sky etc||Aesthetic sense, visual perception, de-stress therapy, mood stabilizer, concentration, memory, and helps in depression, anxiety and fears|
|Aroma Therapy||Fragrances of flowers, wet soil, etc||Uplifting moods, stabilizing power, overall sense of health and wellbeing|
Besides these, Mother Nature adds much more to our life as a whole in the form of:
- Abstract thinking
- Motivation and Inspiration
- Development of self-concept
- Reflection and philosophical thinking
- Attention, memory, concentration
- Decision-making and other complex cognitive skills
You can use the healing elements of nature either in an active form (going to natural places and experiencing them) or in a passive form (through audio-visual aids). Each and every form has its own effect and significance.
Some people laugh at me when I say that nature can heal. They just don’t seem to believe it. All they believe is pills and therapies. I always ask them one question: “Have you seen an animal pop a pill and get well? Have you seen them sick most of the time?” Animals do not have hospitals or health centers as such. Their only hospital is Mother Nature. We don’t believe in it because either we don’t have time to explore and experience its therapeutic effects or we are fixated with our own one-way mode of thinking. So folks, the day you start believing in the healing capacity and motivating potential of Nature…your world will change.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson, the book Silent Spring