Have you ever heard of therapy that is conducted in the great outdoors? We have a beautiful practice here in the Biltmore, but sometimes the temperatures here in Arizona are so scorching we are happy to be inside where it is cool.
However, there has been more and more practices and counselors who are taking their craft outdoors. There have been many studies on the affects of how getting outside and being outdoors can positively impact our lives. The mere fact of just being outdoors have shown to decrease stress levels, soothe mental illness, and increase physical activity. A lot of time spent in the outdoors is spent connecting with others, so the social interaction can be a positive thing in an individuals life as well.
There is a certain sense of calm when we are outside, especially when we are in a space that is green, clean, and quiet. This type of environment can really give us a platform to reconnect with ourselves, be in the moment, and appreciate what is around us that we often forget about when we are running through our busy lives.
There are therapy programs and groups that are held in outdoor environments, like camping in the woods, hiking groups, and even one on one counseling sessions done in a park. The results have shown that these types of activities can lower the stress hormone cortisol, which can be increasingly inflammatory and damaging to our health and our minds. Lowering cortisol can help improve symptoms of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and anxiety. Often people feel healthier, and stronger after they’ve done something outside. So it’s no wonder taking the calming feeling of just being outdoors, coupled with am individual counseling session or in a group can be successful.
There is an article over at American Psychological Association about how psychologists are using wilderness as a therapeutic tool. Check out that article here. There is also a wonderful article written by Frederick Reimers on Outside Online that explores the topic. We would love to know what you think?
Would you sign up for a therapy session done outside?
Does being outdoors make you happier?
What are your favorite outdoor activities?
Feeling so sick and tired of not getting enough sleep? Are you waking up exhausted, feeling depressed or anxious throughout your day? We suggest getting your hands on, Quiet Your Mind and Get To Sleep by Richard Bootzin PhD, Colleen E. Carney PhD, and Rachel Manber PhD.
The book is actually a work book designed to help you get to the root of your insomnia and sleep issues. It will help you stop worrying, and improve your health issues related to loss of sleep. The workbook is based on cognitive behavioral therapy that helps you develop healthy patterns, and useful tools to a better nights rest.
Happy Monday! Or depending on how you slept last night, perhaps it is a not so happy Monday. If you aren’t the type of person who keeps the same sleep schedule through out your weekend, or you suffer from sleep problems, Monday mornings can be rough. If you are chronically suffering from lack of sleep, you might be experiencing affects of Sleep Deprivation.
-is the condition of not getting or having enough sleep. This can be a long term condition, or a short term condition. It is something that affects your emotional, physical, and cognitive processes. And the longer it occurs, the worse the symptoms and affects have on your body and brain.
-it can also cause weight gain, or weight loss. It can lead to mind cloudiness, clumsiness, inability to concentrate and excessive sleepiness.
So if you’re reaching for that extra cup of coffee this Monday morning, ask yourself if your sleeping habits are healthy? What could you be doing to improve them, and thus improving your overall health?
If you use Instagram, you probably are inundated with people posting their healthy meals, smoothie bowls, gym routines and fit bodies. The social media platform has become quite the haven for promoting the healthy lifestyle. But what if it is doing more harm than good?
Instagram uses a photograph or a group of photographs to snag the attention of the everyday user. So what grabs attention and gets you more followers? Usually a photograph of perfectly arranged brightly colored foods, or posing in fitness gear with a rock hard body. But what does this do to our positive body image? It does the same thing that magazines and society has done for years. It promotes a body image that is often unattainable and sometimes unhealthy.
When we are constantly bombarded with images of what we perceive as “perfect bodies”, we are telling ourselves that we need to do everything possible to look like that. We need to eat what their eating, do the workouts they’re doing, and document every living second of it. When we see other people succeeding in their life, it changes how we think about our own bodies. We start to think, “I need to do this to look like that.” A lot of women (and men) tend to think of their own bodies with an outsiders view in mind. We want others to think we look great, eat healthy, and are happy more than we want that for ourselves. It can create quite an obsession of trying to do everything perfectly, and can lead to unhealthy habits, anxiety and even depression.
The most dangerous thing about Instagram, is we can scroll through our feed and see “everyday normal people” promoting unattainable lifestyles. We know that when we look at a magazine ad, it is probably photoshopped and the model has prepared for the shoot for months beforehand. When we look at Instagram, we think this person just posted a photo and they’re not famous, so if they can look that good, eat that well, be that fit, than obviously we can too. We fail to admit that most photos on Instagram are actually heavily edited and photoshopped as well.
Not all Instagram is negative for our body image. It can help create a community with supportive people all around the world. It can give tips and tricks on how to eat healthier, workout more efficiently, and the wide array of resources are endless. But the safest way to enjoy Instagram without falling into the thought process of, “I’m not good enough” is to tread lightly. As with any form of social media, limit your time on it. Acknowledge that a lot of pictures are edited, photoshopped, prepared for, and not necessarily “real”. Know that what works for someone else might not work for you. Be realistic about what is really going on behind the camera. And most of all, enjoy it. Follow a variety of accounts, not just ones that focus on eating habits, body habits and aesthetics.