Nature Canada

Nature Therapy – How nature can help elevate your mood

Marika Carter

Guest blogger, Marika Carter

This blog was written by guest blogger Marika Carter.

Do you ever just wake up in a bad mood? Or someone/something has you unsettled?

Sometimes the best way to clear your mood, and those “mice talking to each other in your head” (as my brother-in-law puts it) is to go for a nice long nature walk.

When my Mom passed away in October, I would walk every day by myself, through the woods of Bronte (west Oakville in Ontario). One day, I was reflecting on my Mom, and how she would have loved to be on this walk with me.

Image of a fall forest by Marika Carter

A fall forest by Marika Carter

It was a warm early November afternoon, most of the maple and birch leaves had fallen, creating a golden mosaic on the path. I said out loud, “Mom, you can come with me, but you’re going to have to keep up!” Just thinking of her walking with me made me smile.  As I rounded the corner, there, in the fork of the path, was a White-tailed Deer. He was a young buck, judging by the impressive antlers that crowned his head. We stared at each other – I stood stock-still as he sniffed the air with black nostrils, his ears flicking around, listening.

A ray of sunshine emerged from the clouds, a blue jay squawked, and the young deer nonchalantly strode off into the woods.

I felt sense of wonder and calm spread through my senses. For days afterward, it seemed as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, that the air, the trees, the birds – all of nature was conspiring to make me feel at peace.

Of course you should never just wander off into the woods by yourself.  Remember the rules:

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return
  • Stay on the path and respect all living things
  • Dress in layer (remember the old Finnish saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”)
  • Bring water and healthy snacks (no littering)
  • Bring a cell phone/camera – all my best photos have been unplanned

Have a conversation with yourself – it’s amazing how saying things out loud can really put your thoughts into perspective!  I hope you will try this – what I call “Nature Therapy”.

Let us know what in nature makes you the most relaxed and share your experience with us by commenting below!

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