If you have a propensity toward getting depressed...
...one of the best solutions to lift your spirits is communing with Nature.
Recent research from the Netherlands found that people experienced less depression when living close to and spending time in a park or wooded area. A different study from the UK found 71% of its participants experienced less depression after a walk in the countryside.
These two studies, among many others, prove the power of the outdoors and what it can do to lessen your depression. It basically comes down to three things: sights, sounds, and energy from the earth.
Sights: Flowers, trees, water, a sunrise, or sunset all calm us down, make us happier, and increase our energy level. Nature’s beauty and all of her marvelous work drain away negative feelings and thoughts.
Sounds: There is also a connection between happiness and certain sounds. Birds singing, a bubbling brook, the sound of ocean waves lapping at the shore all work lift our spirits and drain away stress. Our eyes and ears not only have a physical connection to the brain, but also a spiritual one as well.
Energy from the Earth: Indigenous cultures have long felt their connection with Mother Earth. Certain places around the world have energy coming from the earth. By visiting these energy hot spots, people suffering from depression often find some inner peace and a spiritual calmness by soaking it up.
The Power of Yoga: Practitioners of yoga have long known about the mental healing powers of yoga. The meditation and other stress-relieving techniques of yoga work wonder for those suffering from various mental conditions. In one German study, participants that were emotionally depressed with varying conditions including stress, depression, anxiety, and fatigue, took two 90-minute yoga classes per week for three months. At the end of the study, participants were retested. What they found was that 50% of depression experienced improved test scores, along with 30% suffering from anxiety and 65% from fatigue. Go outside and practice yoga. You’ll feel the stress drain away and soak up happiness from the Earth.
In a study published in June 2010 in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, it found that spending more time outside with Nature not only improves us mentally but also insulates us better from physical illnesses. It concluded that “One of the pathways to health may be spending more time in natural settings.”