Television studios have a room often called the “Green Room” where entertainers relax and wait for interviews and appearances. The color green has long been credited for alleviating anxiety, depression, and nervousness. Different shades also show different expressions, like dark green for ambition, yellow-green for sickness or jealousy, and olive-green for peace.
Much like entertainers have confirmed, the calming effects of the color can benefit our mental health. Spending time in “green spaces” creates a sense of rebirth and renewal. Caring for something or someone else can also help us recognize areas where we need to nourish self.
Renewal and growth is facilitated through self-awareness, making ecotherapy a practical support for talk therapy or medication, if not used independent of other options. One of the main benefits of ecotherapy is teamwork for shared activity goals through one of three methods:
Exercise involves rock climbing, hiking, or rafting, as well as, exercising in green spaces (i.e. walking, cycling, cardio).
Gardening combines physical exercise with protecting/caring for commerce and goods can be sold or bartered at local markets.
Therapy includes interactions with animals, like petting zoos, relationships formed with domestic pets (i.e. cats, dogs), farming, and spending time in the wild. Arts and crafts about or created with things from nature qualify as well.
Managing a mental health diagnosis may result in discomfort socializing in groups, financial concerns, tiring easily, and low motivation. Try these tips to set up a stable routine:
Baby Steps: Begin with short increments of time outdoors or set a goal to walk a set distance.
Communicate: Contact program instructors ahead of class with any questions/concerns.
Self-care: Avoid low energy blocks and take advantage of high energy moments.
How we treat pure environment and personal space has a major impact on our overall health. A study by Blumenthal and colleagues found 71% of people experienced a reduction in depression after an outdoor walk versus the 45% who walked indoors. Another study in 2011 showed a significant reduction in the stress hormone, cortisol, among rural residents. The World Health Organization reviewed 60 studies from around the world concluding green spaces are associated with reduced obesity.
Your environment includes your home, your car, your workplace, your diet, and the people you surround yourself with. Studies show we thrive better when surrounded by people who support our goals. We contribute to environmental whether recycling or creating a culture of empathy and gratitude. Start on the path to wellness and expand your self-awareness with a toolkit from National Institutes of Health.