by Charlotte Underwood

"With the modern world becoming urban at an extremely uncomfortable rate, it’s easy to forget that sometimes our best forms of therapy have been right in front of us all along, just like they have been for each and every one of our ancestors.

I’m talking about nature, the great outdoors and actually taking the time to go on a little adventure, be it to a different park than usual, the next town over or hundreds of miles away.

Between the hypnotic colours of the swaying trees and the breathtaking sky, our bodies seem to automatically relax and unwind as soon as we take in the most precious gifts that humanity was ever given.

Trying new things can be incredibly scary but for us to develop and grow as people, we need to take positive risks and experience things that may make us uncomfortable at first, but will certainly give more reward than you’ll know what to do with.

You don't need to travel far, to experience endless possibilities and excitement - have you explored the countryside or looked into the area where you live? Have you embraced the outdoors and the areas that you think you know so well.

Adventures do not need to cost a penny and the outside is free for all of us, so why not use it? I spent three years feeling incredibly agoraphobic to a point that I could not even deal with opening my front door – I had imprisoned myself in my own home.

Three years seemed to feel a lot longer and I became so unwell, so after an impending suicide crisis, I was assigned a support worker of sorts who helped me get back outdoors. It’s been just over a month of determination and already, I feel closer to myself than I have in years.

The sound of the birds, the sun on my shoulders and the ability to breathe actually fresh air makes me feel so free, it allows me to imagine all sorts of wonderful things and let go of the stresses of daily life.

I do not think that adventure therapy will cure all mental illness but the truth is, at the moment, nothing exists that will work for each and every one of us as we are so individual. However, I do believe that mother nature provides a form of medication for aliment and so far, the outdoors has certainly soothed my mental pain."