Monday, May 27, 2019

Why Does Nature Reduce Stress? Veterans and PTSD

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Our species was born in nature and must return to nature to feel at its most comfortable state. Well known stress release techniques include breathing, moving, aroma, and scenery. These are all part of nature and drawn from our need to connect back to the earth. As a people we have separated and change our environment to the points that our body reacts to stress in new ways. Veterans who suffer from PTSD should connect with nature.

Connecting to nature simply means spending our time and efforts in nature. Hiking, walking, biking, camping, hunting, etc... are all about touching base with nature. While the activity may change we ultimately want to be immersed in our world.

To understand why nature reduces our stress we should look at our biological history. Our species came from the forest, jungles, and swamps. Everything we know about ourselves for most of our historical significance came from nature.

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When we return back to nature we connect with our historical past on a subconscious level. Our biorhythm slows down and we get into a state of homeostasis. We can think of this as a state where we feel safe, comfortable and at home.

Our modern society increases our anxiety through constant contact, information, noise, pollution, and forced activity. It is antithetical to our original nature as a small clan people who developed based on our environmental lifestyles.

Veterans with PTSD have a particular difficulty getting their nervous systems to calm down. Getting connected to their deepest psychological/biological connection rooted in the human species it is possible to rewire the brain to better handle trauma.

it is important to remember that PTSD happens to veterans (and others) due to extremely stressful events in which they do not feel safe. While the particular event may have caused that specific trauma it is their childhood upbringing that makes a significance difference in who will get and who won't.

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Connecting to the true self all the way back to nature helps reset the switch on trauma. Getting involved in the outdoor world opens possibilities to see the world in a new way vastly different than the world of hustle, bustle, and electronic noise.

Here is a great resource for understanding PTSD.

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