How do you Find Your Wild and just what is Nature Bathing and the Benefits of the Outdoors?
“Forest bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. The practice originated in Japan where it is called shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese (it is also called sēnlínyù (森林浴) in Mandarin and sanlimyok (산림욕) in Korean).” – Wikipedia
Nature is inherent to our well-being. We, as humans have spent most of our existence dependent on, surviving in, and being at one with nature. Our DNA is programmed for nature, yet we have created an environment of technology, work, tv, and all things indoors.
Society is such a fast-paced rush of responsibilities; bills are due, work is demanding, even our food choices are targeted to be ‘quick and easy’. Life is expensive and many people are working full time but barley getting by, so to suggest a vacation for some people just pushes the stress buttons even more. But the thing is, we need downtime. Our bodies and mind require rest, relaxation, time away from this technological, chaotic, multi-tasking life we exist in.
According to an article in National Geographic “visits to parks are down. So are visits to the backyard. One survey found only 10 percent of American teens spend time outside every day.”
In 2016 a study done by the University of Queensland (UQ) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) showed that visiting parks reduced the risk of developing heart disease, stress, anxiety and depression.
According to UQ CEED researcher Dr. Danielle Shanahan, “If everyone visited their local parks for half an hour each week there would be seven per cent fewer cases of depression and nine percent fewer cases of high blood pressure,”
The best part? Local parks are free! So take the time out of your busy lives, for your health, and go be in nature for 30 minutes a week. Make a weekly adventure where you go to different parks in your area, explore your local outdoors, you just may find your wild right around the corner.
*Did You Know? If city residents all went to a park for a half hour weekly, there would be 7 percent fewer cases of depression and 9 percent fewer cases of high blood pressure.
More health benefits of being in nature:
• Boosts immune system
• Lowers blood pressure
• Reduces stress
• Improves mood
• Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
• Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
• Increases energy level
• Improves sleep
• Helps vision
• Improved short-term memory
• Reduced inflammation (for the elderly as well as young)
There are so many more benefits to getting outdoors in nature. Nature bathing is a must for anyone living in the current demanding world. Weather you can take a vacation to a national park or if you must create your own in your personal back yard.
So, take a walk, a hike, grab your fishing gear, get back on that bike, dust of your camping gear, just go out there and find your wild!