How the Japanese handle stress…

Insightful story published in Outside magazine, on how the Japanese reconnect with nature–they “bathe” in their forests! It is called:

TAKE TWO HOURS OF PINE FOREST AND CALL ME IN THE MORNING

These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And nope, there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress—and even prevent cancer.  See more….

 

How research supports the therapeutic benefits of playing outside

Check out the articles in this month’s Outside Online magazine:

FREE MEDICINE

How research supports the therapeutic benefits of playing outside, and

THE ‘OUTSIDE’ RX

Six natural prescriptions for improving your body and mind

On Happiness

Check out Roger Law’s recent great post on cultivating happiness; read it more than once, and forward it to someone who you think needs to read it.

On Depression

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression were, until about 50 years ago, a very small part of family practice, with an incidence of about 1%.  Yet today, depression appears poised to overtake cardiovascular diseases as the largest contributor to disability claims in Canada and the USA in terms of it dollar value.  More college kids are taking antidepressants than are taking birth control pills;  and the incidence of depression in the family practice setting is now estimated to be over 10%.  More depression, and more use of antidepressants than ever.  Makes one wonder about many things: Is there a real increase in the incidence of depression worldwide, or is this an artifact of either previous underdiagnosis, or more recent overdiagnosis, or both? Or is this, in part, a Big Pharma-driven process, that perpetuates the narrative of, “for every disease, there is a drug”? Are the antidepressants actually fixing anything?  Were they even intended to?

A recent three-part CBC radio series on the program, Ideas, with Paul Kennedy, is very illuminating.  The program covers the history of the diagnosis and treatment of depression, the development of the DSM III diagnostic criteria, the seeming success of the drugs Valium and then Prozac, the FDA approval of antidepressants, and finally, the recent research that demonstrates that the efficacy of the current medications, vs. placebo, at least for mild to moderate depression, is sketchy at best.  Check out these podcasts:

So for those endless hours of free time you have:

Pursuing Happiness: 20+ ways….

Check out this great post by Roger Law:

http://roglawfitness.com/20-ways-to-live-a-more-positive-fulfilling-and-happy-life/