Wellness in Nature
Did you know nature heals?
Over the last several decades, emerging research has shown the far-reaching benefits of spending time in nature—improving measures of both mental and physical health. This practice was popularized in part 1980s Japan, where they developed the physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing."
Even a short time spent in nature (or viewing scenes of nature, if you can’t make it outside) can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, improve your overall mood and lead to greater creativity.
Physically, time spent outdoors can lead to lower blood pressure, tension and heart rate, and can also play a role in strengthening your immune system.
Tips for spending time in nature
- Make the time. Schedule several 20-minute walks or “immersions” in nature per week.
- Find an area away from sound and light pollution produced by cars, buildings, and construction.
- Leave the technology behind. Disconnecting from your phone and other electronics will allow you to be more fully present
- Use your senses. Pay attention to what you see, hear, feel, smell, and perhaps even taste as you immerse yourself.
- Notice your breath - one of the sounds you experience can be the sound of your own breath.
- Allow time for silence. When experiencing nature with friends, try periods of quietly observing together.
Resources and Supplemental Reading
5 Minutes in Nature
What happens when you spend just 5 minutes in nature?