How does Forest Bathing Effect Anxiety and Depression?
Have you ever wondered why people listen to the ocean or the rain on a sound machine to fall asleep? Why are there thousands and thousands of calming and stress relief music on YouTube where we can listen to the wind and sounds of nature?
Our cell phones have given us the gift of having the calming sounds of the forest wherever we go. These gentle echoes of the forest intuitively allow us to feel more centered and relaxed, even when we are not actually in the middle of a forest. If something as simple as sounds can bring us peace in our heart and our mind, just imagine the effects of physically being in that forest or park, allowing Mother Nature to reach out to you.
Studies have shown that Forest Bathing, aka Forest Therapy, Forest Remedy can help us fight depression and anxiety.
Forest Bathing helps us notice the difference between a simple walk and a deep connection to nature as it cultivates our intuition. During a Forest Therapy session, you can learn what to focus on, as you allow the forest to guide your focus.
Gary Evans, who created the Forest Bathing Institute in the UK said: “A better way to frame forest bathing is mindful time spent under the canopy of trees for health and wellbeing purposes.”
Our ancestors used nature as a medicine when seeking a remedy for pain or a problem. As technology developed many of us shifted away from the natural remedies we brought into this world and turned to convenience in modern medications.
If you look at a forest you can see that the forest heals itself, nature has its way to renew and heal itself. We are part of that natural circle and I believe for all our problems there is a cure we just need to know where to look for it. The best place to seek these answers for me has always been in a forest.
Here is an interview with Dr. Qing Li at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, who is giving a very useful presentation on how we can use nature as medicine:
The nation’s depression and anxiety levels skyrocketed during the pandemic, and while some cases are too severe to be cured/treated without medication, forest therapy is a great alternative to those who are looking for a more natural solution. You can’t lose anything by trying, and honestly, have you ever regretted a walk in the park or forest?