Using nature to improve your mental health makes complete sense when considering the statistics. In 2013, for example, depression was the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, behind lower back pain. In 26 countries, depression was the primary driver of disability. (ref - World Health Organisation W.H.O)
Everything is a vibration from nature through to the energy that causes depression. There are of course physical ailments that can cause depression but here we speak of violence, drugs, alcohol, bullying peers and or abusive kin as people grow, poor industrial environments and the demands of work that's often linked to fierce competition a thought and or energy that embodies a unfeelingness that cannot be sustained by many. A break away is needed!
Depression and Mental Health - A Killer
As the relentless pace of the consumer world continues it demands attention. This attention does not allow for the sensing of the self, which is critical in feeling whole as opposed to fractured. It permeates all worlds as differentials place strain on the poor as well as the rich. Nobody is a winner it seems especially those who cannot take anymore of the conflicts that emerge in a myriad of forms as a result of the disparity or gaps promoted as something good. Indeed, men are known to be more likely to commit suicide amid this atmosphere than woman although this does not disclude woman from the equation. It's very complex but we can start simply and turn to simple things when in the depths of utter despair.
Start Simply: Have you ever been gripping the floor of your home wanting it to end - the sickness, the pain, the agony and the dark thoughts that penetrate? If you have you'll know the need for light, for love or something gentler. It's universal! BUT WHAT DO MANY DO? YOU'RE RIGHT THEY ENDURE IT. BUT WHY? Perhaps it's about punishment. Whatever the reasons it makes better sense to seek relief.
Out of experience do the following:
1) Put your boots on, your jacket if in winter and be depressed outdoors - even if you are sick to the core.
2) Walk routes that are less populated if delicate, find somewhere peaceful AND CONNECT!
4) Feel the pain - throughout every part of your being and know that it's natural. It will help you let go and find love within once more!
5) Talk to yourself, ask questions, appeal to your guides, reflect upon your loved ones if in grief, scream and or cry.
6) Despair at the exhaustion if you must but be there amid nature, plug in, recharge and continue on - walk!
7) It may only be local, around the corner into the park and it may only be for 20 minutes but it will work.
The change in configuration meaning the space, shapes and or forms in front of you helps the mind as does the clean air and or scent. Of significance the brush of the wind will generate different thoughts within also because it is touch. This highlights the importance of touch in the healing process. So, if it's only for a brief time you are guaranteed to feel differently. It might not rid you of your pain altogether but it will reduce it. And reducing it is key in feeling like you are one step closer to ascending the din.
We know the negative stuff is there but so too is the positive. The thing is to keep focusing on what deserves our support and attention. And there is plenty of lighter elements that are proven to be beneficial to our mental health.
Mark the co-founder of the Wye Explorer project can only use himself as an example when speaking of the issues surrounding mental health and nature. He has been a former addict, has scoffed out of bins food that would depress the hardiest of people, he has lost his father and many good friends prematurely to drugs and alcohol and just recently he has lost his twin brother Paul invoking a grief not known by him before. Throughout he has experienced depression, anxiety, psycosis and strong urges to take his own life. One thing helped and that was nature, walking, wild camping - a kind of self-administered nature therapy. His twin was in agreement with nature, which saw them both benefit from the clean vibrations emanating from it.
In nature we strip it all back and simplify our lives. The competition all pervasive in the world dissolves and we get to see a part of ourselves previously obscured. Mark Jickells
For a wild camping and walking video in the woods of the Wye Valley click play on the video.
Wildness is a feeling that lasts beyond the camp!
When beside a river, in the mountains, in a vale or in a wood wild camping there is a feeling of autonomy. What is autonomy? Autonomy is when you feel you are in a place that's governed by you or the people you are with. In such place's barriers come down enabling new thoughts and or feelings to emerge by of way connecting with other subtler/natural forces. It's all about feeling and creating conditions where new feelings can inhabit you and wild camping and or adventure plays its part.
Nature is at the core of this autonomous zone, which touches you more easily when the guard is down and you are relaxed.
Memory making is part of healing. With positive experiences to reflect upon we are able to get a fix on possibilities. This is why we advocate wild camping or camping in areas that are peaceful and perhaps nearly wild such as official sites or permissions.
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Local Project the Cart Shed
On their website the Cart Shed says that its mission is: To provide tailored therapeutic support in a woodland setting, helping those experiencing an imbalance in their lives to heal, learn new skills, find friendship and a future.
They have two sites at Norton Canon and Almeley in Herefordshire both not far from the Wye Valley. Click the link below. It's worth exploring as they also do veteran recovery and walking therapy.