Trees can help you find health and happiness.
Whether you are eating them, watering them or walking through a forest, they yield incredible power of both body and mind.
I often feel like I am repeating myself. The words arranged a little differently but the same message. It can be vexing as I search for new ways to deliver a very simplistic message, in engaging ways that make people want to make these lifestyle changes.
So instead of regurgitating my message, I’ll start with some startling statistics.
Beyond Blue states that 45% of Australians will experience mental health issues at some stage of their lives
Approx. 1 million Australian’s suffer depression and 2 million suffer anxiety.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.
On average, 65,000 people attempt suicide in Australia each year, and eight per day will die.
Living with an ex-serviceman, I knew the acronym for PTSD from an early age and associated this with heavy drinking, bouts of anger and deep depression. I have come to understand later in life that Mental Health issues are neither cured with a pill nor numbing through excessive drinking but start with a conversation.
Conversations create connection and sometimes it’s an empathetic ear that makes the difference. To be heard, understood and feel supported to make the required changes. Humans are hard wired for connection, we shift energetically when we are around other people. Think of a time when someone was in an incredible good mood, dancing about and singing. You felt great around them. Energized, lifted. This is the power of human connection.
It starts with connection. A conversation. It needs to echo further than that though into our dietary habits, movement and connection we share with the natural world.
As a society our waist lines have grown and we have an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and some cancers .These chronic health conditions are linked to lifestyle factors such as overweight and obesity, insufficient physical activity, smoking and alcohol. The commonality these diseases share with mental health issues is our lifestyle choices.
Our food choices, environment, social interactions, movement and lifestyle all interplay with our emotional well-being. In my previous blog you can read about the gut-brain connection
Research has shown, that alternating the balance between beneficial and disease-causing bacteria in an animal's gut can alter its brain chemistry and lead it to become either more risk taking or more anxious.
Through our human evolution, the gut has evolved a complex neural system that nourishes both physical and psychological well-being through this bacterial Eco-system. Research reveals how the gut microbes influence our weight, immune systems, and mental health.
Plants and insects communicate through releasing chemicals that are then transported through the wind. When we are walking in nature we breathe in these chemicals and the subsequent reaction in our bodies is the equivalent of anti-oxidants in the plants we eat, effecting our gut microbes.
It take a holistic approach to health and wellness.
Taking into consideration all aspects of our lifestyle; diet, movement, nature connection, social connection and integrating mindfulness.
Beyond Blue have a great #YouCanTalk campaign designed to start the conversation around mental health issues, guiding people to get help.
You can read more here>>
A Nature walk, connecting with like-minded people in a supportive and non judgment environment can boost your mood, improve physical health and create a a supportive community to turn to when you feel a little blue. If you’re keen to learn more about how Nutrition, Mindfulness and Nature walks can improve mental and physical well-being, connect with me on an upcoming hike.