Walking in nature is good for your mental health

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2017 11:56

Walking in nature is an effective way to help treat a number of mental health issues such as stress and depression, according to a BBC documentary.

In 2014 we reported on Yvette Spacie, from Chesterfield, who found golf helped with her depression following cancer treatment, while last year we looked at how the walking in nature benefits that golf as a sport uniquely offers has helped stroke victims and people who suffer from dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Now a BBC Radio 4 documentary, presented by Isabel Hardman, assistant editor of The Spectator, has explored the connection between the natural environment and recovery from depression.

Hardman has recently suffered from depression and found walking in nature beneficial. In the broadcast she spoke with Dr Alan Kellas, a psychiatrist who advises the Royal College of Psychiatry.

“The evidence suggests that the minute we move into a natural environment our attention changes,” he explained.

“It can restore itself from being focussed on wide-angled peripheral vision to awareness of what the natural environment visually gives us. It can wake up our hearing as well as our bodies. It can bring us into our body at a time when our minds are preoccupied. Memory is also enhanced.

“This is also important in regaining a sense of sanity and mood regulation. In terms of managing stress, getting into a natural environment is a very good first step.”

Kellas said that exercise can be useful to recovery, meaning there is a dual-pronged approach of taking in nature while moving, which are both beneficial to treating depression. This is also particularly good news for greenkeepers, and there is evidence that working in nature, such as gardening and greenkeeping, is also good for mental health.

Social connections are additionally helpful he said – another reason why golf clubs could play a leading role in this issue.

Kellas said that there is even a movement towards taking therapy away from rooms and having them in nature, as the conversations are richer and deeper – opening up the possibility that therapy could be conducted on the golf course.

“We come from the natural world. It’s bizarre to think we could ever recover our mental health in highly technical urban environments – no, get back to our roots.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir September 25, 2017 11:56
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2 Comments

  1. Michelle October 5, 08:40

    My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly 7 years ago, when he was 49. He had a stooped posture, tremors, right arm does not move and also has a pulsating feeling in his body. He was placed on Sinemet for 8 months and then Sifrol was introduced which replaced the Sinemet. During this time span he was also diagnosed with dementia. He started having hallucinations, and lost touch with reality.I searched for alternative treatments and and started him on Parkinson’s herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, Just 7 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment he had great improvements with his slurred speech, there is no case of Rigid muscles and Slowed movement (bradykinesia) since treatment, visit Health Herbal Clinic official website www. healthherbalclinic. net or email info@ healthherbalclinic. net. This treatment is incredible!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Michelle October 5, 08:49

    My husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease nearly 7 years ago, when he was 49. He had a stooped posture, tremors, right arm does not move and also has a pulsating feeling in his body. He was placed on Sinemet for 8 months and then Sifrol was introduced which replaced the Sinemet. During this time span he was also diagnosed with dementia. He started having hallucinations, and lost touch with reality.I searched for alternative treatments and and started him on Parkinson’s herbal formula i ordered from Health Herbal Clinic, Just 7 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment he had great improvements with his slurred speech, there is no case of Rigid muscles and Slowed movement (bradykinesia) since treatment, visit Health Herbal Clinic official website. This treatment is incredible!

    Reply to this comment
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