Nature Therapy





One of the most effective anxiety busters I know of is to spend time in natural environments. There is nothing like creation to uplift your soul, bring you peace, and make you feel nurtured and connected to God.





Walking


Walking and hiking outdoors is not only physically beneficial, it is beneficial to your soul. It is the easiest place to slow down and be grateful for all the little blessings. “Stop and smell the roses” is cliche but it really does work! Don't just smell the roses, engage all your five senses. Smell the flowers, the rain, the pine trees, the dirt, the grass. Listen to the birds singing, the crickets chirping, the creek flowing, the wind in the trees, the wind chimes. See the desolate mountain top, the green valley, the red canyon walls, the orange and purple sunset. Taste the fresh water, the lemon grass, and the wild raspberries. Feel the sun on your skin, the thundering vibration of the waterfall, the hot granite rock, the cool creek, the exhilaration of climbing the hill.


These things can calm your heart rate, stop you from shaking or clinching, and bring you solace. Healthy people spend time in nature on a weekly basis! If you live in the city go to the botanic gardens, the town park, or even your own backyard. And if you can't go to nature during a crisis- bring nature to you. Listening to nature sounds can greatly reduce your anxiety during a crisis. You can buy many hour long nature soundtracks off of Amazon for $1.


Sunlight


Sunlight may be taboo in culture today, but the truth is we NEED sunlight. Sunlight is essentially the only way to get sufficient quantities of vitamin D. Vitamin D decreases your heart rate & blood pressure, and elevates mood & calm. I know, you drink milk with vitamin D added right? But you can't absorb that vitamin D. Some foods have vitamin D but not enough of it. Go for the real thing. Spend one hour in the sun per week. And yes, it does have to be UV light. That's where the vitamin D is. UV light is blue light found in full spectrum sunlight. In the winter, the UV light gets scattered in the atmosphere making the sky appear bluer. Same thing happens during sunrise and sunset. Less of it gets to your skin. So you need to expose yourself to sun during the 10am-2pm time range (winter) or 9am-6pm (summer) to insure yourself vitamin rich spectrum light. If you are of northern decent and skin cancer prone avoid too much sun exposure, but don't avoid sun all together. One hour per week seems like very little to me. I personally don't believe in sun-block. Daily use of sun-block has been shown to cause skin cancer. Instead, get gradually increasing amounts or 15 minute doses.


Music Therapy


An effective relaxation technique for me is music therapy. This is simply the use of relaxing music to affect emotional calm. I think this is why I am one of the most relaxed people I know. I listen to calm massage music all day. Even at home. There is nothing like music to affect the way you feel. It can hype you up, bring you down, delight or depress you. It is a gateway to your emotions. There are times when violent music can be a release of negative energy (in a positive way without actually getting violent), but for the most part, I believe that you should try to avoid any music that causes you fear and anxiety, or endorses violence and a lack of self control. Negative stimuli causes stress. Target, Walmart, ITunes, Amazon, and our National Parks are all good places to find relaxation albums.


Earthing


Multiple scientific studies have shown that earthing, also known as grounding, reduces inflammation that causes disease. It has been shown to help alleviate mental health and depression disorders, improve immunity, increase parasympathetic function, and decrease adrenal fatigue. The idea is to walk or stand barefoot, lie down, or sit, on the earth and connect physically with the ground. It works by grounding our bodies electrical energy (just like you would ground a cable, phone, or electrical wire) and soaking up negative electrical ions from the earth that counteract the positive electrical ions that we are surrounded with from cellphones, electricity, etc. Kids ground instinctively, but as we get older we isolate ourselves from the earth. We wear rubber shoes, stay on insolated ground, and sleep in elevated beds. The movement was started by Clint Ober. You can learn more by watching the earthingmovie on YouTube.