Hunting as Positive Therapy for Military Veterans
Be it reduced price tags or dedicated public land – the western world offers countless hunting opportunities to enthusiasts. You will never hesitate to hunt because there will always be good budget rifle optics and massive public lands available to benefit from. And, when it comes to brave soldiers protecting the lands, you will find even better opportunities available.
Almost 34-states in the United States of America offer discounted hunting license fees to veterans. They also receive special residency acknowledgments. But why? Well, while hunting has proved to be beneficial for civilians, it also serves as a positive therapy for military veterans.
Yes, we know the question that popped up in your mind; how? We wondered it too. So, here is a detailed insight into how hunting is a positive therapy for military veterans. Let’s dive in!
Helps with Stress & Anxiety
According to one study, 12.9% of US veterans deal with PTSD. It is strikingly high when compared to the general population. The warzone experiences and challenges leave many soldiers with unbalanced mental health. Anxiety, depression, and stress are some other common issues faced by them.
However, stepping into nature helps lower their symptoms. The hunting process reconnects them with the wilderness. As a result, they feel less alone and can view the outdoors with a positive perspective: one where there is no war.
Moreover, studies suggest that exposure to green spaces reduces confusion and tension. Instead, it elevates positive emotions, self-esteem, and overall mood. Most veterans feel refreshed after a good hunting chase.
Offers Physical Balance
Hunting also offers veterans a healthy distraction from regular and boring civilian life. Unlike their pasts, civilian life comprises slow-paced chores and technological devices as a form of entertainment. There’s no movement or hustle like before. Hence, veterans find themselves losing their build and stamina. These factors also contribute to depreciating mental health.
But, going on hunts is an excellent way to regain the physique. Gun handling and shooting positions are some of the target exercises that engage core muscles. The entire activity strengthens the muscles, enhances posture, and improves the overall physical balance.
Rebuilds Connection with Family & Friends
It’s possible to hunt in solitude. However, most huntsmen prefer going out in groups with friends or family. Spending hours together and achieving a mutual goal helps veterans connect with people. They can bond back all those relations that strained when they were away.
The experience has a positive impact on veterans’ healing process, that’s why many people have started non-profitable organizations. These communities group veterans and send them onto fully-funded hunting trips. Consequently, veterans spend quality time with people who understand each other.
They feel supported and loved. Besides, they develop the essential skill of team-working and collaboration. Hunting pulls them out of their loneliness and pushes them into an exhilarating experience with like-minded individuals.
Summing it up, hunting does have several mental and physical benefits for veterans. The outdoor activity should receive more acknowledgment and popularity. So, more veterans feel encouraged to participate.