Have you ever wondered how nature can influence your mood and emotional well-being? Forest therapy is a practice that uses the healing power of the natural environment to improve mental and physical health. Connect with nature and discover how this practice can help you reduce stress, anxiety and depression and improve your quality of life.
What is forest therapy?
Forest therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a practice originating in Japan that involves walking in the forest and immersing yourself in nature with all five senses. It is an experience that involves observing the trees, plants, animals and sounds of the forest, and aims to improve the individual's mental and physical health. Another related practice is called Forest Bathing, is a nature-based well-being practice that enhances our natural ability to adapt to change in our lives.
Benefits of forest therapy
Scientific studies have shown that forest therapy has multiple benefits for mental and physical health, including:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved mood and reduced depression
- Lowering of blood pressure and heart rate
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Improved ability to concentrate and creativity
In addition, forest therapy can also help to improve the quality of sleep and increase the feeling of well-being and connection with nature.
How to practice forest therapy
To practice forest therapy, you don't need to be an expert in the field. Here are some tips to help you start enjoying the benefits of nature:
- Find a nearby forest or park and walk at your own pace. Feel free to stop and explore your surroundings.
- Use your senses to experience the natural environment. Observe the details of the trees, plants and animals, listen to the sounds of the forest, feel the texture of the leaves and the scent of the flowers.
- Do breathing exercises and meditation. Feel present in the moment and focus on the connection with nature.
- Disconnect from electronic devices and distractions. Allow yourself to be in the present and enjoy the experience.
In addition, for those interested in achieving a more advanced level, there is specific training that allows you to get a forest therapy certification.
Who can benefit from forest therapy?
Forest therapy is a practice that can benefit anyone, regardless of age or physical condition.
It is especially recommended for people suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or sleep disorders. It can also be useful for those who wish to disconnect from the daily routine and connect with nature to improve their emotional well-being.
Although forest therapy is a safe and beneficial practice, it may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some contraindications:
- People with allergies or respiratory diseases that may be aggravated by exposure to nature.
- People with phobias of nature, such as fear of spiders or snakes.
- People with mobility problems or disabilities that prevent them from walking in the forest.
Forest therapy in the digital age
In an increasingly digitalised world, forest therapy can be an excellent alternative to disconnect from electronic devices and connect with nature. The practice has become especially relevant in the post-pandemic era, when many people have suffered from the effects of social isolation and lack of contact with nature.
Forest therapy is a practice that invites us to connect with nature to improve our mental and physical health. Through observing the trees, plants, animals and sounds of the forest, we can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, improve our mood and strengthen our immune system. If you are looking for a way to disconnect from the daily routine and connect with nature, forest therapy may be the perfect solution. People with mobility problems or disabilities that prevent them from walking in the forest.