Nature: Just What the Doctor Ordered

Research into the link between nature and well-being is increasingly focusing on effects on the body and brain, such as how brain activity corresponds with the nature experience.

Kassie Maxwell is Mental Health Promotion Specialist who can speak to the mental health benefits of spending time in nature.

Kassie’s position with the Canadian Mental Health Association of Lambton Kent allows her to work side by side with her clients in order to collaborate, encourage and support them to achieve their goals and picture of wellness.

“Taking care of our mental health is just as important as taking care of our physical health” says Maxwell, “In fact, taking care of our physical health has a direct positive impact on our mental health. Of course, enhancing access to green spaces provides more opportunity for people to engage in physical activity, which will benefit mental well-being.” There is also, a growing body of evidence that is suggesting that spending time in nature, regardless of whether there is a component of physical activity has a direct positive impact on mental health.

One health trend that is popular mainly in Japan and South Korea is Shinrin-yoku, a term that means “forest bathing”. A study conducted across Japan found that walking among trees lowered blood pressure, the pulse rate, and levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released in response to stress.

And never before have so many of us been removed from nature – already 50% of the global population lives in towns and cities; a figure that is projected to rise to 70% by 2050.

Some cities and nations are already thinking about the mental health benefits of nature when designing urban areas.

Don’t be surprised if  your doctor prescribes a little Nature once a day!

Green Drinks Sarnia is a monthly environmental discussion forum whose purpose is to create a friendly atmosphere from which to look at current issues that affect us with a balanced view.  Each month a topic is selected and a person knowledgeable about the topic is asked to lead the discussion.

Green Drinks Sarnia happens on the second Wednesday of every month.

Green Drinks Sarnia is held at 100 Christina Street in downtown Sarnia.

Green Drinks Sarnia is always agenda free.

And perhaps most important Green Drinks Sarnia is always free to attend.

At each session, we provide a light snack from the One Tomato Kitchen’s – Food Works grade seven healthy eating and cooking program.  Beer and Wine are also available.