We’re still halfway through the year, and a lot have already happened. Some of these may be worrisome, causing your stress levels to skyrocket. But do you know that kids can also feel anxiety?
A survey called Student Life in America revealed that over half of the students complained about stress. Meanwhile, the CDC announced that 7.1% of kids 17 years old and below had been diagnosed with anxiety.
Like adults, kids need to learn to manage their anxiety and stress levels, and one of the best places for that is with nature.
How Can Nature Help Relieve Stress?
Do you remember the last time you went hiking or even camping? How was it? Didn’t you go back home feeling refreshed and happy? It’s because nature has a surprising therapeutic effect. But how?
- It Restores Focus
Around the 1980s and the 1990s, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan introduced the attention restoration theory (ART). It theorizes that nature can help improve a person’s focus by reducing the effects of directed attention.
Directed attention is anything that forces someone to concentrate. The kids, for example, have to spend a lot of hours a day learning a lesson or studying for an examination. Always staring at the screen, especially that of a mobile device, can cause the same problem.
The intense focus these children make can increase the risk of exhaustion and energy depletion. If it happens every day, then it could lead to burnout.
Nature works oppositely. It restores the eyes and mind through natural focus. Looking at the clouds, mountains, animals, and rivers is so effortless!
- “Bathing in the Forest” Can Bring Down the Heart Rate
The Japanese have one of the longest lifespans in the world. Besides food and exercise, they are so excellent in bringing down their stress levels. Their favorite activity: forest bathing.
Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku is spending at least two hours with nature, especially with trees. Within that time, it may slow down the heart rate, which is a common symptom of extreme levels of stress. It can do wonders for kids who may express anxiety through aggression or restlessness.
Being with nature can also stop them from spending too much time with their mobile devices. Don’t forget, excessive exposure to social media, bad news, and violence can raise the odds of anxiety.
- The Sound of Water Can Drown Unnecessary Noise
At the Vineyard Camp, kids love to go fishing or spending some time near the bodies of water. Sure, fishing is fun, but the sound of water alone is incredibly relaxing!
It’s all thanks to how the brain interprets the sound it hears. According to a study, our magnificent brain interprets sound either as a threat or a non-threat. An aggressive sound is usually sudden and loud. Think of an ambulance siren, an explosive, or even a scream.
Now, feeling all antsy and panicky when you hear this sound isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, it’s important so that you are awake and alert enough to respond to these threats. Your fight-or-flight response will help you survive.
However, when you’re in noisy areas, such as cities, your children’s fight-or-flight response is always high. That’s why they can feel tired and irritable even when they’re not doing a lot.
Meanwhile, the brain categorizes the sound of water (and, in fact, nature) as a non-threat. While the waves can rumble, the buildup of the sound is usually gradual. Most of all, it can drown other noises that may trigger a stress response.
- Blue and Green Are Calming Colors
Do you ever wonder why most restaurants have either red or yellow color (hello, McDonald’s!)? Why are most luxury items either black or gold? The answer is color psychology.
There’s still much to learn about color psychology, but colors impact us in many ways. It could be because:
- Marketing is effective in pushing one color to signify something. A good example is black, which is the color of opulence.
- Our brain just responds to some colors differently. For example, when we see red, we feel passion and urgency. That’s why “Sale” signs are in this shade.
For many people, blue and green are the most relaxing colors. After all, don’t they remind us of nature? So just imagine how much calmness your child can experience when they’re surrounded by the greens of the plants and the blueness of the waters and the skies!
Here at the Vineyard Camp, your children don’t just learn life skills or meet new friends. They are not only having fun. They’re also healing, helping themselves cope with everyday stress better.
This summer, you can help your kids beat anxiety and stress. Our camp is open from July to August! Register today to secure your slot.