Converge International - Mental Fitness - Page 29

“I took a walk in the woods and
came out taller than the trees.”
Henry David Thoreau
Theories differ about why a connection with nature
boosts our wellbeing. Some experts believe that it
evolved as a survival strategy. Others take a spiritual
view and believe humans are drawn to nature as an
integral part of an overall created universe.
The late Oliver Sacks, famed neurologist and author,
wrote, “The effects of nature’s qualities on health are
not only spiritual and emotional but physical and
neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep
changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even
its structure”. (Rubin, C., 2019)
Psychologists and other professionals have begun to
make use of the research and some are now
“prescribing nature”, a practice usually called Ecotherapy. The good news for all of us is that we can
begin to get the benefits of nature immediately and it
doesn’t cost a cent.
Sacks went on to say “I cannot say exactly how
nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on
our brains, but I have seen in my patients the
restorative and healing powers of nature and
gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled
neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature
are more powerful than any medication”. (Rubin, C.,


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