Ecotherapy at Open Sky Therapy

Open Sky Therapy aims to help people manage a variety of issues using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Ecotherapy. Both therapies have proven benefits for mental health. I offer one to one CBT sessions in a therapy room, I also offer one to one and group therapy in a less formal outdoors setting. Ecotherapy can mean a multitude of different things. At Open Sky Therapy it is about using the outdoors to help you reconnect with yourself. It’s about giving you some time out; allowing yourself to be more mindful and notice the world around you; to put down the mobile phone for a little while and breathe. This can be surprisingly therapeutic in itself.

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Be Your Own Ecotherapist

Earilier this year results were published from a project lead by Kings College London, into to effects of the outdoors on our mental health.  Using smartphone data the Uban Mind app collected real time data on the impact of nature on mental wellbeing. 

They found:

  1. Being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky, and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing.
  2. The beneficial effects of nature were especially evident in those individuals with greater levels of impulsivity who are at greater risk of mental health issues.

 

How do we start to incorporate a better connection to the outdoors in to our everyday life? Here are some suggestions:

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Beat the Sunday Blues

It’s Sunday evening and much of the developed world is giving a collective groan. The weekend is fast receding, Monday is fast approaching, and the blues set in.  What can you do to stop Monday morning sabotaging your weekend:

Sunday

  1. Prepare on Friday

Instead of racing out of work at first opportunity of Friday, spend the last 5 minutes of the day planning for the following week; write a to do list, clean your desk, set everything up ready roll on Monday morning.  Realise that you might be feeling a little fragile and that Monday morning You needs a helping hand.

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The Long Term Effects of Stress – How CBT can help.

Most of us have experienced stress and anxiety to some degree during our lives.  But many people are living with excessive worry day in day out.  The constant “what if…” running through their brain everyday; “what if I miss my deadline”, “what if I’m late”, “what if they don’t like me”.  Constantly looking forward, trying to plan for every eventuality.  We all know that it feels pretty horrible to be in this state but many don’t realise that chronic stress can have a serious impact on long-term physical as well as psychological health, due to sustained time spent in  ‘fight or flight’ mode.

Mind and body are inextricably linked and the interaction between them can produce physical changes. Our brain notices a stressor, which triggers a physical reaction, this reaction can lead to further emotional reactions, which affect our mental and physical wellbeing. Some problems such as headaches and muscle tension are often directly caused by the bodily responses that accompany stress.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works with the links between body, mind and behaviour to reduce both the long and short term effects of stress and anxiety.

Here are some of the effects that chronic stress can have on our bodies if left untreated:

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