Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eco-Therapy


If your solution to a bad day is to hunker down on the sofa with your favorite tear jerking chick flick and a container of ice cream you are doing yourself more harm than good. Come on, you already knew that, right? This scenario is often portrayed in movies
and frankly, most women can relate because...well, we've done it!  For a large number of us our fantasy of two men involves Ben and Jerry. Although one to cook and one to clean doesn't sound bad either. ;)



I've found (and now there is research to back me up) that the solution, and a productive and lasting one is to get outside. I like to walk.
 Recently I was feeling a little hurt and misunderstood. I don't care to be in a room when I feel
 like that. I don't want confinement. I head to the park and by the time I've walked a few yards I can feel a certain release, my body relaxes, my mind clears.  Why is it we flock to beaches and what is it that is so emotionally cathartic for us there? I think it is that we can see the horizon. We can't see very far in front of us in our homes or offices where we spend most of our time.  We need distance...perspective.  We need a break from people and cell phones and the overwhelming artificial-ness of our daily lives. From the confinement of concrete and steel worlds we make for ourselves.

I'm not so sure that some of what we see in our inner cities isn't somehow related to this disconnection from nature. I'd like to see someone do a study of prison inmates and relate it to their exposure to  nature as children.


Now before my fellow Christians start accusing me of some new age-y tree hugging nonsense, let's reexamine where we find Jesus going when he needed rest or when he was struggling; the wilderness, a garden, the other side of the lake, a boat on the sea. Seeking solitude in the natural world He Himself created.  There is probably something to be said for the silence of those places also, although now thanks to all our gadgets we can live in a world that is constantly noise filled wherever we go.


The human body is made to move and while I have had a gym membership something about that left me feeling flat and I gave it up. A treadmill is not a path through the woods. An indoor track isn't where I'm likely to have my soul awakened to some new truth. There are multiple benefits of outdoor exercise . Some recent research showed that it is 3-5% more effective, researchers weren't sure exactly why but thought wind resistance and terrain changes were probably responsible. All the photos you see here I took on my walk today. Obviously, this is cheaper than therapy, just an added bonus for this Recessionista.

Why are you still sitting there? Shouldn't you be looking for your shoes?

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1912687,00.html#ixzz0zKSgmJ

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