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RECOVERING AND REDISCOVERING WITH NATURE: ECOTHERAPY


“She sits in the lap of nature, Wrapped under the warmth of its beauty. The sun caressing her face, The leaves singing her a soft lullaby, The wind washing away her worries, The fruits filling her with sweetness.

The plants teach her to grow, and to LIVE life filled with its ups and down, The trees teach her to stand tall and strong, but also to be grounded, The small insects teach her to walk slow but steady, The birds teach her to fly high but also to take a rest when it gets too much.

She is there taking in all that Mother Nature has to offer, She is there finding answers to her questions, She is there finding beauty and love in things she didn’t see before, She is there in every moment- Living, Breathing and Growing”


Anxiety has been an indispensable part of my life since I entered college. It made me feel that no matter what I do or speak, my mind is going to run a marathon about all of the events in the course of my day and make me overthink until my body gives out and I feel completely exhausted. Oversleeping was a temporary solution but eventually, I had to wake up and the next thing I know my mind is on a relay rice of spirals. Playing the events of my day and week over and over again. Events as a simple conversation with my professor to the huge choices I have made in my career, anxiety has been a constant partner, pulling me down and draining me. This often made me feel powerless in life. Every time I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, my respite was going outside to the nearby park, lie on the grass and look at the sky and the birds and thinking about how I would love to trade my life with those birds any day and build my tiny nests among the trees and live happily. It made me feel at ease and my my mind at “pause” mode.


The COVID-19 pandemic happened. All schools, colleges and offices were shut down and we all became prisoners inside of our homes. It acted as a cherry to my anxiety. The uncertainty of the virus, the sudden peak in death toll and the entire world being in a state of confusion and panic made me worse. I couldn’t go to the nearby park anymore to lie on the grass, I couldn’t go the nearby animal shelter to pet puppies nor could I go to the cute coffee shop nearby and look at the hustle and bustle of the regular customers. Everything came to a standstill. With no outlet to my overthinking and constant spiralling, I was losing control of myself. With every passing day, it was getting harder to breathe.


I was closing into a breakdown as these changes around me were happening at an alarming rate and staying inside my home unable to do anything made me feel worse and impacted my self-esteem.


This is when my aunt bought some vegetable seeds that are easy to grow in a small area in one’s house. I thought maybe if I plant these seeds, it will help me stay busy and avoid negative thoughts in my head. I casually decided to plant one of them and see what happens. This turned out to be the stepping stone to my journey of gardening and discovering healing with nature within the bounds of my home.


I always enjoyed the peace and tranquillity nature had to offer; it calmed my nerves but I never really put much thought into it. I planted the tomato seeds and looked after it every day. I would wake up earlier than usual just to spend time with it and talk to it about myself, my fears and apprehensions about this unknown state the world is in and how it affected me. Slowly, I realized, I found a friend in my plant, I could talk to it for countless hours until my mother would come and tell me to get back to my room and study. Every little free time I would get, I would spend it with the plant.


I noticed that I wasn’t actively thinking about my fears or anxieties anymore. I was so caught up in taking care of my new “baby” as I called it, my mind did not go into spiralling as actively as it went before. Though I still had my bouts of anxiety and I would feel very overwhelmed but when I sat with my plant in the veranda, everything seemed to be alright. It gave me a sense of realization that I’m not alone in this battle, the whole world is in a similar situation as I am, it gave me hope that we all will eventually get out of it and go on about our lives if not in the same way before, at least in a way which is much better than the present situation. I started growing more plants. I planted eggplants, giloy (a herb helpful for improving immunity) and a money plant.


Every time I felt lost or wanted an escape, I would sit with them and talk my heart out until I felt light.

I always felt connected to nature but now I started to understand healing with nature. Being a part of the greenery around helped me self-introspect and develop new perspectives about myself, people and things around. I could think about a lot of things in the safety net of my plants. Greenery became my guardian.


This was my introduction to Ecotherapy. For everyone wondering what this is or is it some new psychological thing, to clear that I’ll give the most basic introduction to Ecotherapy.

Ecotherapy in the most basic sense means healing in the natural environment. It involves being in the nature or being actively involved in nature related activities like gardening, farming, trekking or even spending time with animals around.

Is it a new psychological thing? well, as a field, YES.


It’s a part of the field of Ecopsychology where therapists suggest you to be involved in activities where you are in direct touch with the nature as it can help boost one’s mental health.


It is based on the belief that we are a part of a web of life and that our minds and our thoughts are not isolated or separate from the natural environment.

There are professional Ecotherapists in the field who use various techniques like Nature Meditation, Animal-assisted therapy, Horticultural techniques and Conservation techniques, Wilderness therapy and many more to boost your mental health and develop a sense of connection of spirituality and care with the environment.


Anyone can practice ecotherapy also interchanged with the term nature therapy anywhere. Whether one has a mental health condition or not, anyone can benefit from being in the serene realm of nature.


- SNEHA & JASKIRAN

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Prerna choudhary
Prerna choudhary
04 jun 2021

Informative and very nicely written. Ecotherapy keeps you grounded and calm. link with nature is phenomenal to both mind and body. I do talk to my plants every evening too. I can relate and it feels so good seeing them blooming with grace and positivity day by day.

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