The fascinating benefits of Nature on your health
Power of Nature
Nature has always been a source of inspiration for medicine, arts, nutrition. With the Japanese art of 'Forest Bathing' gaining popularity recently, let’s have a look into the true power of nature. Does it reduce stress and anxiety? Can it help us stay calm? More importantly, are there any associated health benefits? Let's delve in and see if we can't find out!
The Fascinating Benefits of Nature on your Health
Nature really has healing power! “Forest bathing” is one good example on how to benefit from the power of Nature and Forbes is coming around to the idea that spending time in the trees has a direct impact on your state of mind. Of course, the benefits aren't just mental; the act of hiking through a forest has a positive impact on your physical health, too.
Known by the Japanese as Shinrin Yoku, spending your day off in a forest has a whole range of health benefits. According to Dr. Qing Li in an article in TIME the average American spends 93% of their total time indoors. Besides from the fact that getting outdoors into clean fresh air gets us back to our ancestry, it also allows you a few hours away from all the technology that controls your life and allowing you some EMF protection, leading to a sense of calm, grounding and healing.
Forest bathing brings you into the present moment to de-stress and relax. And it has also more health benefits:
Enhances anti-cancer proteins (NCBI)
Boosts additives in elderly patients with heart failure (NCBI)
Can regulate mood leading to reduced stress and anxiety (National Library of Medicine)
Lowers the blood pressure (National Library of Medicine)
There are 88 other studies on positive health benefits of forest bathing in the US National Library of Medicine's database. You can view them all here.
Lowers stress levels, lowers cortisol levels, lowers the pulse rate, boosts the immune system, release antibacterial compounds that fight disease and generally does wonders for your whole being – according to Healthline.
How To Forest Bathe?
Forest Bathing is all about awakening your five senses. The more you enjoy the moment as you are in it, the more peace you will have now.
The aim is to get some good grounding, earthing feelings pumping and there are two ways to do this. The first is to go out into the forest and simply be there. Walk around, build a little wooden hut, spend time among the trees – even walking your dog can be forest bathing if you do for a few hours.
Of course, if you want to get maximum impact from your forest visitation then find a peaceful place where you won't be disturbed and concentrate on your breathing. Try to focus on grounding yourself. Listen to the birds, various sounds, smell the fragrance of the woods, observe the color combination, the movement of the branches in the wind, touch the grass, the trees … By taking the forest through your senses, you notice a sense of calm and inner peace.
You don’t even need a forest to experience the benefits of Nature. When walking outside, deepen your breath, feel the sun on your skin! Spend more time outside, skip the car, walk more, plan promenade on a regular basis, bring more nature into your indoor with fresh flowers, nature-inspired art pieces, stones, do visualization of your perfect day outside, go out with family and friends….Personally, I love to practice Qigong outside. There are so many beautiful and efficient ways to reconnect with Nature! Find the ones that you’re more attracted to and make it a practice routine. And keep noticing the feeling in your mind and body. This mindfulness practice of bringing your attention inward can be done anywhere and anytime to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and get back more energy!