Rx Walk in Nature

 

Time magazine writer,  Jamie Ducharme, in the 2018  Nov ember 19th issue of Time magazine, shares with us the benefits of going outdoors.  In fact, Dr. Robert Zarr in 2017 founded Park Rx America “to make it easier for more health profesionals to write park prescriptions for patients  of all ages, particularly those with obesity, mental health issues or chronic conditions like hypertension and type 2 Diabetes.”

Dr. Zarr,  a pediatrician, in Washington, D.C.,   writes  up to 10 park prescriptions a day. By writing these prescriptions the doctor is giving encouragement to get out in nature and experience  a number of positive benefits of going outdoors. The author lists the following benefits of being in the “green.”

Relaxation

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can decrease levels of the hormone cortisol, lower blood pressure and reduce other markers of stress.

Physical activity

Exercise is an important pillar of health, and going outside encourages you to get moving, whether by hiking, biking, gardening or strolling.

Social support

Parks are inherently social places. Seeing and interacting with others guards against loneliness – a major public health threat – and fosters community.

Mental health

Researchers has shown that spending time in green space can lift mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, including rumination and feelings of worthlessness.

Awe

Soaking in the arresting beauty of nature has been found to lower levels of inflammation in the body and spark feelings of generosity, perspective and selflessness.

Fresh Air

Pollution is linked to a number of ills, ranging from respiratory problems to cancer and heart disease -so breathing clean air may reduce your risks.”

The National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People program promoted parks as a ” powerful health prevention strategy” locally and nation ally.  Mentioned are the Walk with a Doc , which sponsors free physician led community walks is now in 47 states, and Park Rx which has  studied and tracked park prescription programs since 2013, says there are at least 33 states  and Washington, D.C.

NOTE:

Our website depressedanon.com at the drop down menu Tools of Recovery, lists Being in Nature  as one of the very important  tools for a depressed  person’s  recovery.

Personal comment:  Walking, I discovered,  played a major role in my recovery from depression.

Hugh/Editor

Hibernation works for bears!

 

One of the situations that develop for those of us who are depressed is to isolate. To hole up. To hibernate.  This of course works for bears –but just makes things worse for those of us who are depressed. Isolation from life causes a fracture–a disconnectedness from others and our daily activities. We find that we are gradually slowing down–withdrawing from others and choosing to be alone rather than being connected. Our minds  go round and round choosing to do nothing,  circling around like a dog chasing its tail,  rather than finding solutions. Basically, isolation is our solution.

CLARIFICATION OF THOUGHT

A mantra that needs repeating in our minds is to tell ourselves that we need to move our bodies if the mind is to break free from the chains of immobility. Move the body and the  mind will follow.  Once we have committed ourselves to   get physically moving the more the mind will challenge our isolation and inactivity. At first we will have that ongoing debate inside ourselves telling ourselves “I’ll do it when I  feel better.” I know,  I’ve been there.

I am going to keep myself physically fit.

“Keeping physically fit! It is a must for us, who are and who have been depressed.  Walking not only restores harmony to the body, it likewise restores my self-esteem and self-confidence.”

Try walking. It costs nothing. No gym fees or dues.  Walking can make a difference for those of us who find ourselves with our thoughts of suicide, despair and hopelessness. In the very act of walking, I move outside  the narrow and limited circle of my life and move into relationships with other people, places, and situations. Walking releases mood elevating chemicals in my blood  and like others, may cause me to feel a slight elevation of mood. Walking also helps distract me from the ever present round of negative thinking that continues to oppress me.

With time and perseverance, I discover that exercise not only reduces physical tension in my life, but it also makes it possible for me to feel better about myself.

For me to feel good about myself, I have to first want to like myself. I want to attempt to live just for today and not be concerned about what if this , or what if that happens. I am deciding today, that for me to feel better, I must get active and exercise.

God will help us and motivate us to get out into the world of fresh air and the diverse beauty of creation so that we may enjoy God’s goodness manifest itself all around us.

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Please click onto the TOOLS FOR RECOVERY menu here at the website.  See items EXERCISE and BEING in NATURE.

SOURCE: (c) Higher Thoughts for Down Days” 365 daily thoughts and meditations for members of 12 Step fellowship groups.  Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.Ky. Pages 222-223. November 8.

  I’ll do it when I feel better. Depressed Anonymous  Publications.  Louisville.