Mental Health Healing Through Nature

June 4, 2024 Michaela Jarvis

I find I can heal through nature. Not only is the great outdoors a place of wonder, but it's an excellent tool for those with mental illness. There are many tactics to harness the healing power of nature and all it has to offer, which comes in handy when anxious or depressive thoughts start to creep up.

Healing Through Nature: Sunshine

Previously, I lived in the northern part of the United States. That means there was a lot of snow and limited sunshine for over half the year. Likely because of that, I began developing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). My moods dipped severely every winter. Come spring, my energy boosted back up.

There are treatments that can help with SAD (for example, I used a therapy light box), but after learning more about this condition, what truly moved me was realizing how much of an impact nature had on my mental health.

Now, I heal through nature by trying my best to harness the powerful effects of sunshine when I can. A quick sunlit walk or finding a sunny window can significantly improve my mood.

Healing Through Nature: Meditation and Mindfulness

Like most people, I love the night sky and its glittering stars. On days I'm especially upset, I like to visit my rooftop. I often get wrapped up in thoughts like, "Did I answer that email?" or, "Did I pay that bill on time?" In these moments, I heal through nature by staring at the sky and getting lost in thoughts of how I am part of something larger. Emails feel less significant when looking at the stars.

Other times, I like to do outdoor sound meditation. This means I just sit outside and focus on the sounds that nature provides. Ideally, this isn't in a city environment, but even so, the birds may be chirping or the wind blowing, and that's a beautiful thing on which to concentrate.

Healing Through Nature: Unplugging

I love being outdoors. I love hiking, walks in the park, being by water, and especially camping. I've found nature most heals me by allowing me to unplug and separate myself from difficult emotions. I love the space and fresh air; it helps me slow down and remind myself what's important. I can work through my anxious thoughts in a lower-pressure environment.

Beyond unplugging from difficult feelings, I can unplug from the world. When I have my phone, or I am at my computer, I am accessible to anyone. I also have access to social media and the news, which are two triggers for me. Not only am I able to use nature as a breather from stressful moments, but it can also be an escape from triggers.

There are plenty of ways to use nature in healing mental health. Listening to your body's needs, finding peace, and unplugging are all important, and nature is there to help with the healing journey along the way.

APA Reference
Jarvis, M. (2024, June 4). Mental Health Healing Through Nature, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Michaela Jarvis

Michaela Jarvis is continuously on her road to self-improvement while managing bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the life challenges that come with being in your 20s. Find Michaela on Instagram, LinkedIn, and her website.

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