Have you ever headed out for a brisk walk when confronted with a difficult decision? Before long, you start noticing the birds calling or your neighbor’s flowers and you return home with clarity about your situation.

Or have you calmed yourself by taking a drive to the ocean or river? The sound of water rushing over rocks or washing on the shore brings a sense of exhilaration and joy that puts your problem in perspective.

Some of us have intuitively known the healing power of nature and research is proving us right. Studies show that medical patients heal faster when their views include trees; students score higher on tests, can focus, and are more cooperative and kind, when they live near green areas or participate in nature programs; our mental health issues, such as ADHD, depression, and stress, can subside when we spend time outdoors.

All of this is captured in the emerging field of ecotherapy, which promotes mutually beneficial relationships between people and nature. Ecotherapy encourages us to use our sense and heart to experience and interact with the rest of the world.

The Middletown Park and Recreation Department is offering a four-session ecotherapy program, HealingNature, to help us reconnect to nature in a personal way. Sessions will be held on Thursdays in June, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Pre-register by May 21: send a completed general registration form (available online or call 860 343 6620) and check for $65 to Middletown Park & Recreation Department, 100 Riverview Center, #140, Middletown, CT 06457. Open to all mobility levels. Questions: Beth@HealingNatureCT.com or 860 398 4470.

Take a look: Experience Healing Power of Nature in New Class

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