Did your mom or dad ever tell you to “go outside and play?” Mine did. And I definitely recall telling my own kids that. More than once.
As it turns out, we had it right. And it’s good advice for people of all ages. Here are 2 statistics that I found surprising.
- U.S. adults spend 93% of our time indoors or in an enclosed vehicle
- Many children are indoors 23 out of 24 hours a day
Our history as humans is much different. For millions of years, humans existed in the outdoors in the natural elements. The past couple of centuries has seen this change dramatically shifting to nearly all of our time inside away from the beauty of nature.
When CNN did a report on forest bathing I saw a resurgence happening. I never imagined that what I did at a very early age and then did again 25 years ago as a part of the holistic community would resurface as a “new” way of reducing stress. Throughout my life, I have walked among the trees and hugged them to absorb their awesome energy. Now, joyously, here we go again.
Dr. Razani, a pediatrician at the children’s hospital in Oakland, California started a project with the East Bay Regional Park District to bring children to parks as part of their prescription for treatment. In 2016, she founded the Center for Nature and Health, to conduct research and offer medical care “in nature.” In addition to physical improvements, patients reported emotional benefits, including feeling less anger, aggression and stress. They also reported more happiness.
Forest bathers spend time in nature solely for the health and stress reduction benefits. They don’t wear Fitbits®️ to track steps, and are strongly encouraged to leave mobile devices in the car.
Participants are encouraged to welcome the silence of the world and quiet their minds of the constant internal chatter. It’s a type of mindfulness that nature aids. “Bathers” report the effects of sunlight, the sounds of nature and even the smells of the outdoors combine for a powerful blend of stress-reducing experiences.
Looking for an easy, no-cost way to destress?
Go outside and play. Take a walk in the park. Give yourself time to sit quietly and allow your senses to hone in on the sounds of birds, or the feel of the breeze on your back.
If you’re in the Central Ohio area, I’ve planned a guided woodland experience strolling through one of our local parks. This will be a seasonal workshop experience. Hit reply and let me know if you’d like to join us or to learn more click here!
Want to know more? Check out this CNN report