Nature-on-prescription - Baller Athletik

Nature On Prescription

Negative ion concentrations are higher near oceans, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

Do 10,000 daily steps, sunlight, and meditation have the power to heal all of your ailments? Dan Go, also known as @FitFounder, agrees. In a viral tweet, he lists several "nature’s antidepressants."

Antidepressants are prescription medications to treat conditions and disorders like depression, anxiety, and addiction. In this context, Go’s list should be seen as "nature’s dopamine hits," as they release "feel good hormones". A walk in a park, along a lake, or through a wooded area may reduce the need for medication for anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, or insomnia. Nature can benefit a person’s mental health, according to experts.


They are used for preventing, alleviating, and overcoming depression, as their
names suggest. But they are more than that. They can also be used to treat other disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety disorder. Nature has long been linked to a variety of health benefits. "The concept that spending time in nature can improve one’s overall health is correct."

Let us look at nature as a therapeutic source for preventing and helping to relieve many ailments, but not as a replacement for conventional treatment when someone has a disease," says Dr. Era Dutta, Consultant Psychiatrist, Tedx Speaker, and Founder — Mind Wellness.

Nature has a remarkable ability to combat depression and improve overall mental health. "The sun has a big influence on our circadian rhythm and serotonin levels, which are linked to mood regulation. Endorphins, also known as "feel-good" hormones, are released in response to sunlight exposure, which improves mood and reduces symptoms of depression," says Dr. Babina N.M, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute adding, "The term "forest bathing" or "nature therapy" refers to the therapeutic environment provided by the forest’s lush greenery and peaceful atmosphere. Immersion in nature has been shown to reduce depression symptoms by lowering cortisol levels, a stress hormone, and prefrontal cortex activity associated with rumination."


The vastness of the ocean and its rhythmic waves have a calming effect on the mind, which lowers stress and anxiety. "Negative ions in ocean air have also been linked to higher serotonin levels, which improve mood and general wellbeing. When carried out in a natural environment, techniques like breathwork and meditation have a beneficial synergy. Stress reduction, increased focus, and improved emotional resilience can all be achieved by combining mindfulness practises with the tranquilly of nature. Similarly, working out outside or lifting weights increases endorphin release, improving mood and easing symptoms of depression," says Dr Babina.


Dr Era says, Yes and no. "They can help keep a sad mood at bay. But this doesn’t mean that they are a replacement for antidepressants in the conventional sense," cautions Dr Era, adding, "Think of it like this: The sun is a great antimicrobial, but not an antibiotic. Meaning, exposure to the sun can help reduce infection by killing the microbes, spores, and bacteria, but once you are infected, you will need actual medication to kill the culprit. Similarly, while certain foods are known to help patients with diabetes by preventing blood sugar level spikes and are popularly referred to as "anti-diabetic foods, you wouldn’t call them medication. Nature has always been around and is excellent, but in the past few decades, mortality has come down significantly due to better health care and medication support." However, Dr. Era feels "It can be misleading to refer to Nature’s elements as antidepressants. Folks can stigmatise medication or other formats of professional help, citing that ‘natural’ is the only way to go forward.

Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes

Negative ion concentrations are higher near oceans, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. They are in the air during a thunderstorm, and even in the shower. Stress levels are reduced when you breathe in air that is charged with negative ions. Negative ion concentrations in the air can have an antidepressant effect in as little as 30 minutes.

‘Mental vacation’

That elusive balance we all seek! Let me reveal how I manage to maintain my sanity. Imagine this: I embrace nature like a long-lost friend to avoid those annoying burnouts caused by work stress. My secret weapon is meditation. It’s like a mental mini-vacation that helps me find my Zen in the midst of the chaos. And I do enjoy working up a sweat. My energy levels are constantly high thanks to my daily rigorous exercise. The real kicker, though, is that my productivity is powered by a healthy diet. I’m all about feeding my body foods that are nutrient-rich to keep me mentally sharp. No sabotage by junk food here!" — TANVEER DASWANI, founder, Baller Athletik



The sun: It aids in Vitamin D absorption, regulates circadian rhythm, and helps the body work on serotonin.

Good sex: It aids oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins.

The forest: Forest bathing or spending time in the forest helps calm your cortisol and adrenaline.

The ocean: The sound and sight of water have a calming effect on the mind and body, which helps increase serotonin levels.

Meditation: Meditation has been found to increase the release of endorphins, serotonin, and the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) while lowering cortisol.

Breathwork: Deep breathing exercises can influence the autonomic nervous system to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to relaxation.

Weight lifting and cardio: Intense physical exercise can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators.

Good friends: Social interactions and strong social connections can stimulate the release of oxytocin, the chemical of trust, bonding, and well-being.

Walking 8 K-10 K steps: Endorphins are released and stress levels reduced with the release of dopamine and serotonin.

Nutrient dense foods: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids necessary for optimal brain function. These foods support the production and regulation of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.