What do you think of when you picture freedom and bliss? For most people, it is running wild in nature. It is an intrinsic part of human beings, a way to let your spirit be free and untamed just like your surroundings. Now, there is actually science to back up the deeply spiritual practice of immersing yourself in nature. It is called ecotherapy, and it is always here to empower you.

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What is Ecotherapy?
Ecotherapy is doing physical activities outdoors. It could be working in a garden, on a conservation project, or biking, hiking, or walking through any nature. Immersing yourself in different weather conditions, different ecosystems (like the woods, beach, or garden), and engaging in it. You can find organized, formal groups for ecotherapy or go at it alone. Some formal groups involve activities like adventure therapy, animal assisted interventions and therapies, farming, green exercise, nature arts and crafts, social and therapeutic horticulture, and much more. The options are vast and can fit anyone interested.

Improves Physical Health
Ecotherapy can increase energy levels by breathing in fresh air and healthy essential oils from the plants around you. The physical activity actually uses the excess stress hormones in your body, leaving you with renewed sense of being and a nourished nervous system. The serenity of your surroundings also impacts your nervous system, and it increases stamina as well.

Improves Your Mental Health
By using a mind, body, and spiritual connection method, ecotherapy is a very potent way to improve mental health. It encourages being present as you learn new skills, develop them deeper, and focus on the task at hand. It can reduce depression, anger, anxiety, stress, and improve self-esteem. This happens through the mental benefits of physical activity like the release of endorphins and happy-hormones, and also encourages social interaction.

Deepens Your Spirituality
Because ecotherapy encourages mindfulness, which is a therapy in and of itself, your thoughts will go from the things that stress you out and cause upset, to ones that are focused. To do this in a space that is surrounded by nature, you are able to connect deeply to the animals, trees, plants, the weather, and leave you in a state of wonder and connectedness. It encourages you to immerse yourself in the divinity that surrounds you daily.

For more information on how to get involved, the heath benefits, and more activities, check out this website on ecotherapy.

Heal yourself with the power of nature and connection. Each day, we have an opportunity to better ourselves, our community, and our world. This is a perfect way to enjoy life more, be in service to yourself and others, and go deep inside yourself. Tell us how you get your daily dose of ecotherapy by tagging us @ALEXANDANI on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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Ani Ferlise
Written by Ani Ferlise
A wild woman living amongst the trees in Oregon, I can be found listening to classic rock, talking with my cat Patrick Swayze, and playing with crystals and herbs. I am the Creative Copywriter, creating content filled with how to enjoy the little things and the magic of every day life. I live my life by Bob Dylan’s quote: “All I can do is be me, whoever that is.”