The Healing Power of Nature

May 11, 2019

Quote of the Week

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." -- Rachel Carson

Why Is Nature So Good For Your Mental Health?

"In recent years, a number of wilderness therapy programs have cropped up to help people who suffer from mental health challenges. These trips often involve physically and emotionally engaging experiences—like backpacking or rock-climbing in remote areas—combined with therapeutic work from caring professionals. Something about being engaged in nature seems to help hard-to-treat patients open up, find new confidence, and focus their lives in more positive directions. Psychologists who conduct these programs believe there is healing power in nature, bolstered by research that suggests green spaces are good for our health, our well-being, and even our relationships.  But what is the secret ingredient in nature that brings about these benefits? A recent study, led by researcher Craig Anderson and his colleagues suggests it could be awe—that sense of being in the presence of something greater than ourselves that fills us with wonder."  In this week's featured article from Greater Good Science Center, learn more about the awesome healing power of nature.

Reading Corner

Title: The Great Kapok Tree
By: Lynne Cherry
Recommended for Ages: 4-8

"In this breathtakingly beautiful picture book, Cherry combines illustrations that reveal a naturalist's reverence for beauty with a mythical story that explains the ecological importance of saving the rain forests. The text is...a simply told story about a man who falls asleep while chopping down a kapok tree. The forest's inhabitants - snakes, butterflies, a jaguar, and finally a child - each whisper in his ear about the terrible consequences of living in 'a world without trees' or beauty, about the interconnectedness of all living things. When the man awakens and sees all the extraordinary creatures around him, he leaves his ax and "walks out of the rain forest." A map showing the earth's endangered forests and the creatures that dwell within ends the book which, like the rain forests themselves, is "wondrous and rare." --Publisher's Weekly

Be the Change

This week bring your kids with you to experience the awesome healing power of nature by going for a hike, exploring a creek or river nearby, or just hanging out in your backyard or local park and let them find their own special sacred spot that they can keep coming back to for inspiration.  For some more ideas, read this article on a parent's guide to nature play and why it's so important for our kids.  You might also enjoy reading this blog about one mom's encounter with her little one who discovered the comforting and healing power of nature after a tantrum!