Being in Nature Helps with Teen Mental Health
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center is located in the rolling countryside of Mississippi. Our estate home sits on a beautiful property surrounded by endless greenery. Adolescent and teenage boys who come to our program are met with the refreshing presence of green nature and the clean air that nature provides. Our yard boasts vegetable gardens and an open lawn. A nearby lake offers more natural activities for our patients to engage in. All around our patient’s immediate environment is the beauty and tranquility of nature. Being more closely connected to the elements is proven to enhance mental health and wellbeing for adolescents and teens. Nature provides a healing energy as well as a transformational metaphor. Connecting with nature helps teens connect with themselves and a bigger picture of the world around them.
Living near nature is also proven to help teens be emotionally resilient toward depression. A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health discovered that among 9,000 12 to 18 year olds, teens who had access to green space were eleven percent less likely to suffer from depression. The study was conducted over the course of multiple years.
Green space is any area of vegetation. Some studies have found that the effect of green space can be felt with just a window’s view of some trees, bushes, or plants. Other studies have found that just looking at pictures of wide open, green spaces can help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Green space is untouched and uncomplicated. It represents purity and peace with hope of a simpler life.
Mindbodygreen explains that there are two theories as to why access to vegetation and nature may be beneficial to teens’ mental health. First is the restoration theory, “the idea that nature helps restore some mental clarity after long arduous tasks” the website explains. Teens are subject to arduous tasks on a daily basis like homework, reading, studying, and test taking. Away from things that are man made, teens’ get to feast their eyes on a natural environment and engage in simply being in nature as opposed to doing anything. The second theory is called the “biophilia hypothesis”, “which says that humans of all ages are hardwired to seek connection with the outdoors”. Human is a word which directly translates to “man of the earth”. The prefix “hum” can mean dirt, soil, or the ground. To be human, to connect to our humanity, we have to connect our natural environment in order to truly connect to ourselves.
Treatment should effectively transform life from the bottom up. Our programs for adolescent and teenage boys at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery help build a positive foundation while providing life cleansing therapies for healing. Call us today for information on our residential programs with academic support: 1-662-598-4214