“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.”
~ John Muir
Are you looking for the next great wellness trend? Something that makes you healthy and happy, puts your mind at ease, and brings you back in touch with your authentic self. The answer might be as simple as taking a walk in the woods- one of the best things you can do for your mind, body and soul.
In Japan, they have taken this notion to a whole other level, creating a practice called shinrin-yoku, which translates literally to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” While no actual bathing takes place, the idea is to open your senses to the natural environment. Studies have shown that, by simply being present with their experience, taking in all the sights and sounds and smells of the forest, people have been able to lower their blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. In addition, those who spent at least 20 minutes immersed in a natural setting regularly reported increased levels of happiness and well-being.
To be clear, when John Muir talks of going to the forest to lose his mind, he doesn’t mean succumbing to madness so much as quieting down the chatter in his head. Walking in the woods calms the inner voice, giving the thinking mind a chance to rest. When you allow the stillness that you discover in nature to permeate your inner world, you experience inner peace. Ultimately, by dropping the thinking mind, you come to your senses- allowing your soul to resonate with the tranquil beauty of the natural world. So, if you are looking for a quick and easy way to boost your well-being, look no further- go take a walk in the woods!
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.