Skip to main content

About Me

My photo
Hope & Encouragement for Women

Daily Encouragement: Counselor’s Corner by Stephanie R. Reck, LMSW, LBT, BCCC :Benefits of Connecting to Nature: “Green Therapy”


I love being outside and I love nature, the sounds of birds singing, butterflies flying, and seeing all the magnificent flowers. Nature teaches! Being one-fourth Choctaw Indian I can say that I have always had an admiration for nature. I did not always realize that God the Father was the creator of all the beauty around me, not Mother Nature as I used to think or as most Native Americans refer to the “Great Mystery.” Being outdoors connects me to God more than anything else. I can hear God more clearly outside and I usually experience a calm, peaceful and tranquil state. Jesus is so cool how he has not asked me to give up part of my culture (love and total respect of nature) to connect with Him. In fact, I understand Jesus more when I am admiring His many amazing creatures or when I am out among the trees, grass, and flowers.


Nature is good for us, and can have mental and physical health benefits! “Green therapy” is gaining the attention of scientists, nature enthusiasts, and people who are in search of alleviating symptoms of depression. Being in nature has always been known by Native Americans and Asian cultures as being beneficial. Science is now identifying reasons that we need time in nature. A study was conducted in those that lived closest to a park or green space were less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Other studies have found that nature can prevent mental health disorders, and connecting with nature can help lift depression, improve energy, and boost overall well-being and mental health.

Reflect and ponder: Do you need more peace and less anxiety? Do you need a greater awareness of God’s creative side? Try some time in nature and you will experience a oneness with the Creator of the Universe, and you will be in complete awe of His creations. This sense of awe of God’s creation all around us not only connects us greater to God, but increases our peace and overall mental well-being.

Counselor’s Corner:
What are some benefits to connecting with nature:

1.      Walking in nature can improve your short-term memory and decrease depression, anxiety, and enhances positivity.

2.      Restores mental fatigue. Your mental energy can bounce back by being out in nature.
3.      Reduces stress. Even if you can’t go outdoors if you are trapped in an office all day, get by a window that represents nature well.

4.      An increase in creativity. A stroll in the great outdoors can give you a boost of creativity to start a project, write a book, paint, or solve a problem.

5.      New research is coming out that implies that being out in nature can stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins, and can increase your immune system. Vitamin D is produced by sunlight and getting time outdoors with (limited) sun exposure can aid the immune system even more.

6.      After some time outdoors, your mental health can improve. When you combine exercise outdoors you get a double benefit. Outdoor walks can be useful clinically as a way to treat major depressive disorders. When surrounded by green nature your self-esteem and mood are bolstered.

7.      Indoor air is almost 70% more contaminated than outdoor air! Get out and get some fresh air or open your windows.

8.      Being around nature reduces anger, fear, and reduces muscle tension and the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Nature distracts us from pain and is soothing to our souls.

9.      A lack of “nature depreciation” (being in front of computer/TV daily) has been associated with higher levels of depression.


Tips if you can’t make it outdoors or it’s a rainy day:

1.      Stuck indoors, get close to a window that you can look at nature. Open your windows or doors to let in fresh, outdoor air.

2.      Get a picture of a nature scene, just looking at a nature scene can have similar effects as if you really did go out in nature (however, nothing is better than really going outside and experiencing nature).

3.      Get a plant or some type of greenery to fill your office or home.

MEDIATE ON THESE SCRIPTURES:

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Job 12:7-8

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Psalm 19:1

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-His eternal power and Divine nature-have been made clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20




Comments

  1. Thanks for this. I was super-stressed yesterday and am in recovery today and your words here are just as if God Himself is telling me what to do to help me recover!

    God bless you.
    Grateful thanks.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Counselor's Corner: Investing in Your Marriage

If you have been married for any length of time you know that marriage is hard work. As with anything successful in your life putting time and effort are keys to how fruitful those things will be.


Perhaps you did not have the proper role models growing up to show you how to have a successful marriage, but you desire to have a healthy marriage. If God has brought you together with your spouse the greatest investment that you can make besides your relationship with God is your marriage.


Anyone can have a dull, lifeless marriage, but a marriage that is thriving takes certain elements to help it succeed. If you planted some flowers but forgot to fertilize and water those plants they would eventually become lifeless and die. Healthy marriages take the time to nurture and weed out anything hindering their relationship.



Couples striving for a healthy marriage should first ask God to cleanse their hearts of any unforgiveness, anger, resentment or offenses of their spouse. Staying angry or rese…

Counsselor's Corner: Where has Your Focus Been Lately?

What you focus on the most will grow. The enemy will try to get you to focus on what is wrong, what is not working, and what is worrisome to you. When you lose your focus on what is true, what is right, what is lovely and what is a good report (Philippians 4:6), you will begin to focus on the opposite of these.


CHOOSING to focus on the good will be a daily decision. When the enemy shows you something that is causing fear, worry or frustration, turn away and CHOOSE to focus on the good.


→If your focus has been more on the negative lately check to see who you have been hanging out with, what you have been reading or watching on TV, and giving your attention to the most.


→An unthankful heart can cause you to focus on your wants, but a heart of gratitude will cause you to focus on your blessings.


Distractions come to sidetrack you and get you to focus on what the enemy has brought in front of you. Keeping focus on Jesus means deliberately fading out everything that pulls you away from the…

Counselor's Corner: Healing from Trauma

→What is trauma?
A deeply distressing experience, or a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.


Trauma can occur one time like death, natural disasters or accidents, or trauma can be prolonged and repetitive like abusive relationships, family with addictions, or combat.


Trauma that causes the most mental health issues are prolonged and repeated traumas and trauma that occurs from people especially parent-child relationships.



→What is a traumatic event?
Extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope and overwhelms a person emotionally, cognitively and physically.


→Symptoms of trauma:
·Hypervigilant/guarded
·Easily startled
·Sensitive to certain noises
·Feeling on edge
·Depression/anxiety
·Overwhelming feelings of guilt
·Intrusive thoughts of trauma
·Disconnected from others and difficulty trusting others
·Difficulty handling stress
·Emotional numbness


→Long-term effects of trauma can include:
·Substance and alc…