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南華早報 (SCMP) 訪問節錄 - 心理健康與接觸大自然的關係

近日心理學家Derek Lam接受了南華早報 (SCMP) 的訪問,就心理健康與接觸大自然的關係發表了看法。以下是2019年1月7號刊登的一篇文章有關心理學部分的節錄:

//Mental health experts agree that being in nature can have a therapeutic effect. Most of us live our daily lives tied to our social identities and roles, for example, man or woman, father or mother, boss or employee, and so on. When we spend time in nature, we are so physically and symbolically removed from society that we can get in touch with who we really are, even if the experience is temporary.

“This is what we call connecting with our authentic self,” says Derek Lam, founder and chief psychologist at Psyche Professional Psychological Services in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. “Our authentic self is different from our social identities and roles, which are often linked with the psychological problems we face.

“Clinically, I’ve found that patients who seem to have difficulty benefiting from the prescription of, say, a day out in nature, tend to be quite fixated on their social identities and roles, having lost touch with that deeper sense of themselves for quite some time.”

Spending time near the water relaxes us in a number of ways. The colour blue has long been associated with feelings of serenity and security. When we stare at or are surrounded by this soothing shade, our heart rate slows down, our blood pressure drops, and we feel calmer and less anxious.

Being at the beach also brings our awareness to the ‘here and now’, says Lam. Being in the here and now is often what mental health experts strive to help their clients achieve during a therapy session, especially when their clients need help regulating their emotions. When we are fully present in the moment it is easier for our nervous system to transition from a stressed state to a peaceful state.

“Through this shifting of gears and connecting with our authentic self, we are better able to concentrate as well as examine and solve problems objectively and creatively,” Lam points out.//

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