Heal with the Forest
It's mental health awareness month, where throughout May all forms of media adopt the theme of the year to encourage everyone to look after themselves, and point those in need in the direction of healing. This year's theme is 'loneliness' according the Mental Health Foundation, which is a serious problem throughout the world as the last 2 years have been extremely difficult for everyone due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and the restrictions that have been put in place.
We wanted to talk about what makes us tick - trees and forests - and the ways we all can benefit from them mentally.
The Science behind Nature's Healing
It's always been said in passing that getting outside is good for your health, mentally and physically. But being able to see legitimate scientic research back it up makes it all the more empowering and realistic. According to a study sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors. But the good news is that even a small amount of time in nature can have an impact on our health. A two-hour forest bath will help you to unplug from technology and slow down. It will bring you into the present moment and de-stress and relax you. Numerous studies have been conducted showing that shinrin-yoku (Janpenese for Forest-bathing) has real health benefits. It's said in Japanese studies that people who spend time in the forest inhale beneficial bacteria, plant-based essential oils, and negatively charged ions.
Health and Creativity
Getting your daily dose of Vitamin-D is essential to a well-functioning body and mind. It helps us absorb calcium, it prevents osteoporosis, and it reduces inflammation, among other things. Although vitamin D is present in some foods, like salmon and fortified milk, we get more than 90 percent of our vitamin D from casual exposure to sunlight. Taking a regular walk through the forest or a patch of land with trees will help you on your road to being less stressed and feeling good in your body, as a healthy body can make a healthy mind. The outdoors doesn't just provide you with the foundations of being healthy, it also powers certain links in our minds. Psychologists found that backpackers scored 50 percent higher on creativity tests after spending a few days in the wild sans electronics. It is also said that exposure to nature helps us shrug off societal pressures, allowing us to remember and value more important things like relationships, sharing, and community - making us better people.
Let Nature Heal You and Start your Nature Habit
Nature has many abilities like we just covered, but it goes deeper than words. Nature calms the brain and heals the body, as well as providing a plethora of anatomical benefits, so allow this month to help you find your preferred way of relaxing and finding peace. Hopefully this blog gives you enough information to make the decision to spend more time in nature, and make it a part of your routine.
Try the One Nature Challenge by the David Suzuki Foundation - spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days to kick-start a nature habit that lasts all year-round.