Outdoor activities are not only good for your physical health, but it’s also beneficial for your emotional and mental health too. Outdoor activities are therapeutic because they help with building up confidence and one’s self-esteem. It’s also used for many people who are suffering with various mental health issues such as: addiction, depression, trauma, stress, and other mental health issues.
Besides outdoor activities being therapeutic, it also keeps us occupied and keeps us stress-free. Outdoor therapy is recommended by many mental health professionals and they are also used in recovery centers. It’s also good for kids who have suffered with trauma or any other mental health issues. Here’s a couple of outdoor activities that are very therapeutic:
Abseiling and zip lining are examples of a rope course. This form of therapy is being used to treat many people who are suffering with mental health issues. Rope exercises strengthens both the upper and lower body. It also improves the blood circulation, this is a huge advantage because it improves the sleep. The improvement of the blood flow also relaxes the body. Rope courses also help an individual with staying in shape and it increases both the cardiovascular and muscle strength.
Some people might be afraid at first, but it can actually help boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem. It takes you out of your comfort zone and leaves you with a sense of achievement. It’s very good for people who have suffered with trauma.
According to Melissa Burns, LCPC, LLC “It is noted that the Ancient Greeks used horse-assisted therapy as early as 600BC to raise the spirits of the incurably ill.” Horses were once upon a form of transportation. They have also provided us with many things over the years, but the best one is their companionship and unconditional love. Horses are large animals and may seem intimidating, this helps with breaking fear in people. This is also good for children and adults who have suffered traumatic experience, especially physical abuse experiences.
Building a relationship and friendship with a horse also helps people and they find that companionship and trust in horses. Working as a team with the rider and the horse brings a sense of achievement to the rider.
People also find it easier to connect with horses. Unlike people, horses are not judgmental and they are sensitive animals. Riders are also taught how to behave around horses and how to handle them too. This not only breaks fear within people, but it can also increase one’s confidence and self-esteem. Many disturbed people have found comfort in horses and horse-riding.
Swimming is one of the best exercises. It’s good for your cardiovascular health, lungs and even your mental health. Swimming can also be done at your own pace. It also relaxes the body, which makes it one of the best therapeutic outdoor activities. It’s also a great way to de-stress. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said.
Nature is not only one of the best therapy options for mental health conditions but it’s also lots of fun and good for your physical wellbeing. Some examples of adventure therapy are: hiking, camping, walking, kayaking, jogging etc. There’s a variety of adventure activities to choose from. “Nature-based/experiential interventions produce increased treatment success more rapidly than traditional talk approaches. There is a relationship between humans who connect with and spend time in nature and increased environmental awareness or stewardship.” Dr. Carlene Taylor, LMHC, LPC, CPCS, NCC explained.
Adventure therapy also usually involves being exposed to the sun. Sun exposure is one of the easiest ways to get our daily dosage of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits for our physical wellbeing and it can also help us with sleeping better at night.
Adventure therapy is also used as a therapy treatment to treat many different types of mental health conditions. It’s a stress reliever and it is very relaxing. The sights, sounds and smells also help with relaxing the mind and body. It changes the chemistry in the brain and allows you to enjoy the simplest and most natural things in life. Adventure therapy is also a great way to keep fit, which also has a positive impact on your mental health.