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7 Activities to improve your emotional & mental health

Picture: Pexels
Picture: Pexels

From the earthy feel of the trail under my boots to the sound of birds chirping, I have found that spending time in the greater outdoors can be therapeutic as it challenges both the mind and body.

Time in nature can lead to health benefits through contact with the natural elements and the restoration of mental and emotional health, according to “A Low-Cost, Accessible Intervention to Promote Health Benefits”, a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

While that may be the case, experts suggest that hiking should not replace traditional therapy, but rather be incorporated as part of a broader wellness approach.

If you feel like you’re in a mental rut, here’s how hiking can encourage positive mental health:

Boost your brain

People who spend more time in nature and less time with technology are up to 50% more creative when it comes to problem-solving activities, according to research.

Unplug from the world

We’re always glaring at screens and checking our phones. Hiking is a great way to get away from the feeling of constantly being online.

Improves relational health

Whether it's with a partner, family or friends, hiking a trail together can bring you closer and help build a healthy relationship.

It pushes your limits

If you are likely to give up easily, hiking will be beneficial to you because friends will encourage you till you reach the peak. It helps you recognise your potential.

There are a plethora of therapeutic approaches and most professionals blend and customise them according to their patient’s needs.

Here are some of them:

Primal therapy

You actively scream out your grief, frustration and anger, rather than trying to hold it in.

Destructive therapy

You put on protective gear from head to toe, go into a safe, supervised room with a bunch of items you can smash.

Anger management therapy

This approach teaches people to identify stressors, remain calm and handle tense situations positively and constructively.

Compassion-focused therapy

This approach encourages people to be compassionate toward themselves and others.

Conflict-resolution therapy

This approach teaches people how to resolve conflicts with great results and minimal stress.

Holistic psychotherapy

Holistic psychotherapy integrates other therapeutic approaches and focuses on the relationship between mind, body and spirit.

I feel like I need to speak to a professional, now what?

The South African Depression and Anxiety Group can be reached on their 24-hour Helpline 0800 456 789/ 0800 567 567.

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