One with Nature; fight depression with sunshine

Maybe you’ve heard of this idea.  Pocahontas and Fern Gully and recently, the over-rated combination of the two, Avatar, have lauded the qualities of a simplistic, outdoorsy lifestyle.  While movies may be dramatizations, and animated movies are most certainly fictional accounts, there is some truth to the idea that when humans spend more time in nature, they are happier.  For those of you who don’t believe me, check out this page on the National Wildlife Federation Website, that underlines some of the benefits of outdoor play.  Specifically, the article speaks towards the benefits for children, but is there really that much of a difference fundamentally between a child’s needs and an adult’s?

Now, I’m not talking about going out into the deep wilderness by yourself with only a pocket knife type of nature experience.  But just spending a little time outside each day can help improve mood, fitness, and Vitamin D.  Take a walk in the park nearby, go for a bike ride, lay in the sun to check your email or read a book.  There’s science behind the idea that sunshine really does make you happier!

While obviously, a significant amount of dedication and work is required to heal from traumatic experiences, this is a simple way to give yourself an extra little mood boost.  If you are anything like me, when I experienced depression, all I wanted to do was curl up in a dark, cool space and hide beneath my covers.  But that just makes things worse!

So here’s a simple solution; go outside.  That’s it.  Exercising outside would be ideal, but even just sitting out there can help.  Here’s the challenge, for those of you who wish to accept it; start spending 10 minutes every day outside for the next 2 weeks, and see if your mood improves any.  If you have any experiences that you’d like to share about this topic, please post them in the comments section below this article.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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