Thinking Green, Thinking Healthy

Reviewed Feb 25, 2017

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Summary

  • Get outside whenever possible.
  • Use natural products to clean your home.
  • Plant green areas around your home.

Clean water, clean air, and a healthy dose of sunshine can do wonders for our peace of mind. Although “thinking green” has become commercialized and politicized, there is something about the splendor of nature that connects all human beings. A warm spring rain, a rainbow, followed by a clear blue sky suggests an ancient order that resonates deep within us whenever we experience it.

Poets, philosophers, and now mental health professionals have all discovered peace and serenity in the beauty of creation.

Want to get away?

What is it about being in a park or picnicking at a beach that quiets our minds and brings rest to our souls?

More than 160 years ago Henry David Thoreau set out to answer that question. Thoreau left both the stresses and the comforts of Concord, MA, to spend a few years at a place called Walden Pond. There, Thoreau was able to slow down and observe the very nature he had taken for granted. He wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life …and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” 

A new discipline within the field of psychology, called ecopsychology, is beginning to examine how the natural environment influences mental health. And while few researchers have explored whether being outdoors or a clean environment actually produces measurable mental health benefits, common sense tells us they do.

Tips for “greening” and de-stressing your life

No one needs to wait for scientific research before reaping the benefits of living more naturally. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Get outside whenever possible. Just a few minutes in the sunshine can do wonders for your mood, especially if you live in climates that don’t get a lot of sun. Some forms of depression are associated with a lack of sunshine. We also receive vitamins A and D via the sun.
  • Walk, or bike, instead of drive whenever possible. Walking is great exercise. It can lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and you will feel better knowing that you didn’t spend money on gasoline or have to hassle with parking.
  • Clean up your home environment. Be mindful of the chemicals you use at home. Many convenient household cleaners contain harsh and highly toxic ingredients. Natural solutions such as vinegar and baking soda are non-toxic, effective products can keep kitchens and bathrooms clean.
  • Green up your home. Trees and shrubs not only produce life-giving oxygen, they also create shade for our homes, which can reduce energy costs. Green areas also give us a sense of being close to nature. Planting a vegetable garden is good exercise and saves on food costs. You can also eat healthier by growing your own organic food.
  • Make the time. If going to the mountains or the beach reduces your stress and refreshes your soul, then make it a priority to get there regularly. If hiking in the woods or gardening gives you peace of mind, do more of it. You’ll be “greener” and happier if you do.
By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD

Summary

  • Get outside whenever possible.
  • Use natural products to clean your home.
  • Plant green areas around your home.

Clean water, clean air, and a healthy dose of sunshine can do wonders for our peace of mind. Although “thinking green” has become commercialized and politicized, there is something about the splendor of nature that connects all human beings. A warm spring rain, a rainbow, followed by a clear blue sky suggests an ancient order that resonates deep within us whenever we experience it.

Poets, philosophers, and now mental health professionals have all discovered peace and serenity in the beauty of creation.

Want to get away?

What is it about being in a park or picnicking at a beach that quiets our minds and brings rest to our souls?

More than 160 years ago Henry David Thoreau set out to answer that question. Thoreau left both the stresses and the comforts of Concord, MA, to spend a few years at a place called Walden Pond. There, Thoreau was able to slow down and observe the very nature he had taken for granted. He wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life …and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” 

A new discipline within the field of psychology, called ecopsychology, is beginning to examine how the natural environment influences mental health. And while few researchers have explored whether being outdoors or a clean environment actually produces measurable mental health benefits, common sense tells us they do.

Tips for “greening” and de-stressing your life

No one needs to wait for scientific research before reaping the benefits of living more naturally. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Get outside whenever possible. Just a few minutes in the sunshine can do wonders for your mood, especially if you live in climates that don’t get a lot of sun. Some forms of depression are associated with a lack of sunshine. We also receive vitamins A and D via the sun.
  • Walk, or bike, instead of drive whenever possible. Walking is great exercise. It can lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and you will feel better knowing that you didn’t spend money on gasoline or have to hassle with parking.
  • Clean up your home environment. Be mindful of the chemicals you use at home. Many convenient household cleaners contain harsh and highly toxic ingredients. Natural solutions such as vinegar and baking soda are non-toxic, effective products can keep kitchens and bathrooms clean.
  • Green up your home. Trees and shrubs not only produce life-giving oxygen, they also create shade for our homes, which can reduce energy costs. Green areas also give us a sense of being close to nature. Planting a vegetable garden is good exercise and saves on food costs. You can also eat healthier by growing your own organic food.
  • Make the time. If going to the mountains or the beach reduces your stress and refreshes your soul, then make it a priority to get there regularly. If hiking in the woods or gardening gives you peace of mind, do more of it. You’ll be “greener” and happier if you do.
By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD

Summary

  • Get outside whenever possible.
  • Use natural products to clean your home.
  • Plant green areas around your home.

Clean water, clean air, and a healthy dose of sunshine can do wonders for our peace of mind. Although “thinking green” has become commercialized and politicized, there is something about the splendor of nature that connects all human beings. A warm spring rain, a rainbow, followed by a clear blue sky suggests an ancient order that resonates deep within us whenever we experience it.

Poets, philosophers, and now mental health professionals have all discovered peace and serenity in the beauty of creation.

Want to get away?

What is it about being in a park or picnicking at a beach that quiets our minds and brings rest to our souls?

More than 160 years ago Henry David Thoreau set out to answer that question. Thoreau left both the stresses and the comforts of Concord, MA, to spend a few years at a place called Walden Pond. There, Thoreau was able to slow down and observe the very nature he had taken for granted. He wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life …and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” 

A new discipline within the field of psychology, called ecopsychology, is beginning to examine how the natural environment influences mental health. And while few researchers have explored whether being outdoors or a clean environment actually produces measurable mental health benefits, common sense tells us they do.

Tips for “greening” and de-stressing your life

No one needs to wait for scientific research before reaping the benefits of living more naturally. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Get outside whenever possible. Just a few minutes in the sunshine can do wonders for your mood, especially if you live in climates that don’t get a lot of sun. Some forms of depression are associated with a lack of sunshine. We also receive vitamins A and D via the sun.
  • Walk, or bike, instead of drive whenever possible. Walking is great exercise. It can lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure, and you will feel better knowing that you didn’t spend money on gasoline or have to hassle with parking.
  • Clean up your home environment. Be mindful of the chemicals you use at home. Many convenient household cleaners contain harsh and highly toxic ingredients. Natural solutions such as vinegar and baking soda are non-toxic, effective products can keep kitchens and bathrooms clean.
  • Green up your home. Trees and shrubs not only produce life-giving oxygen, they also create shade for our homes, which can reduce energy costs. Green areas also give us a sense of being close to nature. Planting a vegetable garden is good exercise and saves on food costs. You can also eat healthier by growing your own organic food.
  • Make the time. If going to the mountains or the beach reduces your stress and refreshes your soul, then make it a priority to get there regularly. If hiking in the woods or gardening gives you peace of mind, do more of it. You’ll be “greener” and happier if you do.
By Drew Edwards, MS, EdD

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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