'Nature' is the new prescription

St Agnes Cornwall Hiking sunset

Have you ever gone for a walk, stood at the edge of that cliff, taken a big gulp of air and felt your life fine tune to that one moment? It's exhilarating and beautiful and life-affirming. Now, the medical profession has caught up with what we've all known; that being in nature can be healing.

Doctors in the Shetland Islands have been granted permission to prescribe birdwatching, rambling and beach walks to help patients suffering with mental illness, diabetes, heart disease, stress and other conditions. While these kind of prescriptions will not replace conventional medicines, a more holistic approach to illness is definitely a great addition.   

This new method of supplemental treatment empowers the patient in their own healing. In the winter months the patient is encouraged to embrace the strong winds that hit the islands; standing still and silent for three minutes and practicing 'open-air mindfulness'.

With the rise of meditation apps such as Mindfulness, Headspace and Calm (to name but a few) this 'prescription' could be what we all seem to be craving. Connecting with nature, empowering ourselves and working out our glutes as much as our minds. Each day sometimes seems to run to the monotinous; get up, go to work, binge watch a whole tv series, go to bed and repeat. Breaking from this unintentional routine is actually what we all need. Lets not wait for a prescription from a doctor, lets prescribe some wellbeing for ourselves.

Allow ourselves to get away from our phones and back into nature where we can stand on that cliff edge and feel our world sharpen to that single breathtaking moment; even if it's just for an afternoon.