Lighten up!

The Sun God Ra is flexing his limbs in my part of the world this morning, coursing rays of love and light all over this land.  I rose at dawn to see pink clouds smeared across the sky and could almost hear the dew-topped grass, and all the tiny creatures contained therein, trembling in anticipation of another day on Earth.  I was surprised by the main story on the Scottish news today!  Read on to find out more.

Read all about it:

The news headline in Scotland this morning was that GPs (family doctors) in Shetland in the north of the country were to be given the option of writing nature-based prescriptions to their patients.  So, for example, instead of being prescribed anti-depressants, patients may be prescribed:  taking a walk in a forest; picking up litter on a beach; birdwatching; talking to horses and so on.

Are they quackers?

This idea is not as quacky/wacky as it may at first appear.  For isn’t it true that many of us have become detached from the natural world – and from each other?   This can be especially damaging for young children.  Previous research has revealed that socially isolated children tend to have lower subsequent educational attainment, be part of a less advantaged social class in adulthood, and are more likely to be psychologically distressed in adulthood (Lacey, Kumari & Bartley, 2014).  And, social isolation in adults is recognised as the cause of much of the anxiety, depression and loneliness which affects so many people today.

The benefits of nature prescriptions:

Here are 5 ways in which immersion in the natural world can help physical, mental and emotional health, by:

  • improving your mood by focusing on external stimuli, not your inner thoughts;
  • providing opportunities for social interaction, and therefore improved mental health;
  • recognising the beauty in the natural world which can lead to an increased gratitude for all the blessings in your life
  • possible lowering of blood pressure and anxiety by eg. listening to nature sounds, such as the birds singing;
  • increasing compassion for flora and fauna. Caring for the natural world provides a sense of purpose and increased self-worth.

It’s over to you:

I hope you will find one or more of these suggestions useful in your life.  Focusing on external stimuli certainly helps me as a means of distraction from my own pain and worries.  It stops the negative self talk in the short-term, and increases love and compassion for others in the longer-term!  And I often express gratitude when I’m out walking in the field opposite my home:  “Thank you for these legs which transport me where I want to go.   Thank you for my eyes so that I can see the beauty of this world.  Thank you for my healthy heart and lungs that enable me to walk without pain.”   And so on.  You get the idea.

Have a great weekend.  Try and get out in nature.  It’s so good for you.  Much love, Anita.😀🌳🍂


8 thoughts

  1. Wow, I look forward to the day our GPs write prescriptions for nature. I so believe in the healing power of nature. I do think more and more of the medical profession are beginning to see the benefit of nature.


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