What is nature therapy?
Rhydderch and Collins in paraphrasing Annerstedt and Wahrborg on nature assisted therapy define nature therapy “…as therapeutic interventions that incorporate plants, natural materials, and/or outdoor environments, without any therapeutic involvement of animals or other living creatures,” (2018, para. 2).
Explore the research about nature therapy via the full The Mental Elf post on Nature-based therapy for stress-related illnesses.
The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us ~ A Diary by Emma Mitchell
In The Wild Remedy, Emma Mitchell diarises how nature benefits her mental and physical wellbeing, helping her with her depression. This effect of nature is described in the author’s words, giving an account of the therapeutic outcome:
“…taking a daily walk among plants and trees is as medicinal as any talking cure or pharmaceutical…Simply getting out of the house and seeing the blackthorns and ime tree opposite our cottage induces a response in me that I can only describe as a neuronal sigh of relief: an unseen, silent reaction in the brain that it simultaneously soothing and curative.”
(Mitchell, 2019, p.5)
Borrow this book from the library here.
If you want to read more about nature and wellbeing, why not explore our other titles…
If you want a mindful experience of nature why not watch/listen:
Unwind with 20 minutes in nature | Springwatch – BBC
Personal stories from the KLS…
This year, amongst the chaos that has been 2020, I have rediscovered my love for the outdoors. Not surprising considering Natural England’s People and Nature Survey found almost nine in 10 adults in England reported “being in nature makes them very happy…[and] Four in 10 adults reported spending more time in nature than before the coronavirus pandemic, with health and wellbeing being amongst the main reasons for getting outside.” (2020, para, 2). I, like the findings of this survey, head outside for my wellbeing. As I live in a flat and do not have a garden, walks in nature have been more than for enjoyment and exercise, instead they have been restorative, the soothing (just as Emma Mitchell describes in The Wild Remedy).
At the beginning of the year I discovered a short (new to me) walking route near to where I live, unknown to me for the previous three years. It is a floodplain meadow; boggy, waterlogged and muddy in winter (wellies are a must!), carpeted in beautiful snake’s head fritillaries come spring, a place to spot the occasional heron, and by late summer and autumn an area for grazing cows. It has become a staple route for my walks and runs and in doing so I have tracked the changing of the months and seasons in a way that I have never before, there was nuance, excitement and each change could be noted. I have more than once ventured with my camera, documenting the things I have seen; combining my hobby and love for being out in nature. It is a theme throughout my pictures this year, flowers, plants, insects; a visual representation of my curiosity and enamour with the outdoors.
Photos and words by Charlotte, Assistant Librarian
Mitchell, E. (2019). The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us. London: Michael O’Mara Books Limited.
Natural England & Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. (2020). Public love for nature during Covid-19 highlighted by new survey. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-love-for-nature-during-covid-19-highlighted-by-new-survey
Rhydderch, D., & Collins, I. (2018). Nature-based therapy for stress-related illnesses. Retrieved from https://www.nationalelfservice.net/treatment/complementary-and-alternative/nature-based-therapy-for-stress-related-illnesses/
For more resources to support your wellbeing, try another of the 12 Days of Christmas.