The Secrets of Healing and Relaxing in Nature
Do you know that an average American spends about 10 hours a day in front of a blue screen? That includes: the phones, TV and computers. Now think of the last time you spent outside? Not just watering the plants or walking on the way from work to your place. I mean the real walk in a forest or on the beach coast, taking time to breathe the fresh air, clean up the thoughts, smell the pines or roses in the park. In most cases, we say that there’s not enough time for those things. The truth is, the health doesn’t have enough time to stay strong either. We have to find at least an hour a day to care about it and help the body to heal and we want to share this important essay issue with you.
The time is flying by inexorably and if we do not think about the health now, there may be no point to care about other things such as work in the future. The nature has a key to the healing power.
What are the Benefits of Staying in Nature?
There have been hundreds of studies proving that the nature has a positive healing and relaxing effect. Let’s face the truth, you don’t need to read those articles to believe it. Most of you have experienced it personally. You’ve definitely noticed how the calm river flows and the slow foliage sways distract you from stress and set the mind free. But what you might not know, is that the physical healing process gets quicker with the help of nature.
Various researches around the world show that people residing closer to the green spaces live longer and have a lower rate of disease development. Outdoor there’s enough sunlight that stimulates the increase of vitamin D activity in the skin. It is an important biochemical molecule taking part in stabilizing the melatonin levels.
Nature-related Therapies that Work
One of the most famous and working therapies is shinrin-yoku practice. If translated from Japanese it means “forest bathing”. It is an old Japanese tradition but for the first time it was named by Tomohide Akiyama, who was a secretary of the Japanese Forest Agency. The therapy includes 5 essential elements: walking, sitting down, beholding and exercising in the forest or just among the trees; eating healthy, well-balances food, preferably local sourced food and if possible swimming in hot springs.
Akiyama took into consideration the studies conducted by a Soviet scientist Boris Tokin, held in the 1920’s. These were the first studies of special chemical plant products – phytoncides. Usually they are volatile compounds produced by conifers and some other trees and flowers that lower the blood pressure and improve the immune system. After a walk in the forest, positive physiological factors are observed in blood tests as well. Though, mind that it isn’t applicable to the urban walks. Several studies show that spending a couple of days and nights in a wooded place significantly raises the immune system functional levels. Besides the physical heath, examinees felt relaxed, more concentrated and more energetic. The results of the work are stunning: spending time in nature decreases headaches and migraines, boosts the immune function and reduces the level of heart-related diseases.
All in all, the feeling of a batter physical and mental state of heath that we get in the forest is scientifically proved by hundreds of studies.
Stay Closer to the Nature
Think of your daily routine. There’s definitely at least an hour that you can spend outdoors. For example, instead of exercising at home try jogging in the park. In case you leave far from nature, work on a plan for a week that includes at least a weekend to drive to the forest for a walk, or sit near the pond and admire the tranquility of the water.
If you are looking for a new hobby, think of some outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain climbing or kayaking. Doing sports is a big plus for the body but will take more out of it, if you practice outside.
Moreover, the nature is not only outside the house. It is lying right on your kitchen table! Eating healthy organic food is also a part of being in balance with nature. Try to balance your meals with proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Are you living in a house? Great – you can plant your own veggies in the yard.
Last but not the least recommendation is to plan the vacation somewhere around nature as well. It can be an active summer break skiing in the mountains or a lazy weekend in a summer house in the forest, swimming in the river. Let the nature help you heal!