Are you ready?
Relax. Take it slow. Picture yourself exactly where you are now. Are you ready to take a little nature connection journey with me? Good, let’s go.
Find the nearest door and find your way outside. There’s no need to go far, just find a tree. A big one with deep green colors.
Look up to the leaves at the top of the tree? Notice all the different shades of green. Can you find the lightest green? Is there a hint of yellow somewhere?
Can you feel the air on your face? Maybe a little breeze? Breathe long and slow.
What do you see? Describe it silently to yourself.
Put your fingers on your neck. Can you feel the pulse of your blood? Can you hear it? Can you, if you try really hard?
Listen to other sounds too. Can you hear wind playing with the branches? What else do you hear? A distant conversation maybe, or are you totally alone?
Breathe again. Long, deep and slow.
Can you hear the breath coming out of your nose? Can you feel it with your hand?
Look at the tree again. When you breath in, the tree breaths out. Breath slowly… When you breath out, the tree breaths in. You are in the same rhythm.
If you want to stay for a while, to breath with the tree, you can do so. Take all the time you need. And if there is anything in this moment or in this experience, that you would like to take with you, you can do so.
Are you ready to get back inside? Move slowly to the exact place where we started our journey. Move you fingers and stretch your neck. You are back.
Mind – Body – Nature
Thank you for taking this little journey with me. Can I then explain you my idea of a human as a combination of mind, body and nature. From the psychological stand point, we humans are usually seen disconnected from our body and our natural environment. Therapist treats our mind and the social aspect of our environment, but forgets our body and the natural world around us.
On the other hand, if we examine this matter from hikers, gardeners or nature lovers point of view, we come to conclusion, that nature actually has some value. But in most cases, it is only recreational value.
“Nature is not a place to visit. It’s home.
We live in it and it lives in us.”
Some folks tend to think, that they are starring this show of live. They see, that the rest of this stuff in the world is only something like props or decoration. But it really isn’t so. I think, that every human, bird, spider, blade of grass or stone, has its own vital role in this show of life. That role should be respected as it is, without trying to humanize it. Tree is a tree and we don’t need to see trees humanlike, but we need to respect them as living beings.
I see human as a mind-body-nature combination. Nature is not a place to visit. It’s home. We live in it and it lives in us.
The benefits of nature connection
Because we are so intertwined with nature, we may have developed some attachments towards places or sceneries. We may have pleasant childhood memories to do with nature, such as watching clouds, observing ladybugs, picking flowers or spending time with our family in countryside. And if we see harm done to these surroundings, it hurts us inside. However, it doesn’t work like that with everybody.
It would be beneficial for both parties, nature and human, to have a deep meaningful relationship. We cannot protect something, that we don’t love. And we cannot love what we don’t know. Before we can know something, we must sense, hear or see it. And that’s what we are going to make happen here in Forest Therapy Today! And now I’ll tell what’s in it for you.
Benefits of nature time
1. Improved immunity (cancer and NK-cells)
2. Lower blood sugar
3. Better concentration, learning capabilities and memory
4. Stress relief (blood pressure etc.)
5. Mental health, mood and creativity
6. Lessened experienced pain and boosts recovery
7. Improved eyesight
8. Better physics and sense of well-being
These impacts on our well-being start in that very minute, when we come to nature. The more we spend time in nature, the bigger the impact, but you can start with as little as five minutes. It’s totally up to you.
Besides, when you’re in the present, experience always matters more than duration. The most important thing is to start the journey. And I think, that when your relationship with nature deepens, you will have more to share with each other.
You get the benefits even if your relationship with nature sucks
To get the benefits, that nature offers us, we don’t need to especially like nature. Nature doesn’t sense that we are scared, suspicious or even disgusted. It grants its gifts for anyone who crosses its path. It doesn’t criticize and its acceptance is unlimited. Woody Allen once said, “I love nature, I just don’t want to get any of it on me”.
Technology and forest therapy
There is one more thing with what I would like to wrap this up. It’s about the contradiction between nature and technology. Some forest lovers or forest therapy guides see technology as enemy. I agree to some extent. If you are doing sensory awareness exercise, that demand deep concentration, you can’t be checking your cell all the time. If you do, you won’t get the desired results. With nature, it’s like the more you’ll open your senses the more you’ll get!
On the other hand, if you are just enjoining a beautiful scenery, getting fresh air or working out, it is perfectly okay to listen some inspiring music or motivating audio books. I love to listen good books while I’m walking in nature. It is my own time without kids. I get to study and at the same time inhale loads of vitamin N (nature). Some people might even like to photograph natures creations and there are even few of us nature lovers who think, that technology might be our salvation.
As you can see, forest therapy is a quite easy method, that can be adjusted for many purposes and it gives you tremendous amount of health benefits. You don’t have to travel far, spend hours of your time or identify plants or animals. Just get out and meet some nature! Next time, we will dig deeper into health benefits of nature. See you soon!
Warm and loving thoughts,