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By Andrea Slivkova Smith

Connection with nature is deeply embedded in us. A new term ‘ecotherapy’ is increasingly being used to describe the beneficial effects of spending time surrounded by nature. It brings about calm, self-reflection and an opportunity to re-connect with what’s really important to us. Nature offers the best antidote to the stresses of modern living, fears and anxieties. 

The concept of enjoying nature for its many benefits is nothing new – being in harmony with nature has long been known for its therapeutic powers. 

Nature has a calming effect on our nervous system – it helps lower our heart rate and blood pressure, it destresses us by dealing with the stress hormones that regularly flood our system.

If you have ever suffered from depression, you’d be familiar with replaying negative thoughts in your mind, a habit of rumination that’s very difficult to break. But a Stanford University study in 2015 showed that spending time in nature successfully counteracted this common feature of depression. 

Forest walks, climbing mountains and hiking along the coast provide opportunities to unwind and de-stress, as well as to spend time with friends and family, bringing people closer together.

Being outdoors reminds us that we are part of a bigger world and encourages us to take better care of our health and wellbeing.

Andrea Slivkova Smith is the editor of FitNet magazine. Tel: 07740 421 615 Email:

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