The Healing Effects of Shinrin-Yoku




"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul"

I don't even know who said this but I've been seeing this quite often when I'm browsing quotes over the internet and I think it makes perfect sense. I don't know if you ever enjoy walking around a garden or forest, but I certainly do. I was born and raised in the city, so, there's always a part of me that is craving for the simple and quiet country life. I just love breathing fresh air, I want starry skies, quiet mornings and I just want to be surrounded by fresh flowers, green grasses and trees.



I hate it when I'm feeling stressed out because when I'm stressed out, I cannot do my job well and my relationship with people usually falls apart. When I'm not feeling well, I can be really mean and rude to people, even without meaning to. Silly things such as traffic and poor service from a restaurant can sometimes get to me easily, but I know that I cannot always control every situation I am in. I can, however, change how I react to them. I can either let it ruin my day or my week, or I can simply brush it off. But it takes a helluva time to learn how to brush off ugly remarks and poor treatment, you know? I'm not an angel nor a saint, but I also know that my temper would get me nowhere. So, from time to time, I give myself permission to unplug and spend some time with nature even just for an hour or so. When I'm around the city, I go to my favorite park when I feel like I need to take a breather between my working days, family drama and personal issues.


My normal mood includes rolling my eyes and pursing my lips when I find something I don't like and during my worst days, I would have that nagging feeling inside of me that's telling me I should just punch people in their faces and walk away without another word. Very mature, right? Yeah, I know that it's SO wrong. Believe me, I'm trying my very best stay positive and happy like most of the time, but sometimes I have to admit that I'm not that strong to play along with a freak show. 


Last month though, I was fortunate enough to get a chance to hike Mt. Pulag National Park. Though it was a tough hike, from the bottom of my cold heart, I had a great time appreciating the pine trees along the way, the mossy forest, the spring water and the grassland towards the summit. We spent a total of 11 hours back and forth. It was the most epic thing I've done so far and it brought back my shaken self-esteem and I was able to cool off my blazing head. It also made me realize that I can actually do hard things.

Apparently, the fact that people nowadays are craving for some quality time with nature is just a natural reaction from spending too much time in our over-civilized society. Our bodies are automatically drawn back to its original home which is nature. This is what the Japanese people call shinrin-yoku that literally translates to 'forest bathing'.


It is scientifically proven that spending some time with nature has actual healing effects even to something as serious as cancer. If you want to learn more about this Japanese concept, you might want to check this site (http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html).

Here are the other benefits of forest bathing:

* It reduces blood pressure
* It boosts immune system
* It reduces stress
* It improves your mood
* Helps you recover from illnesses or surgery
* Improves poor sleeping habits
* It increases your energy level

So, the next time you feel a bit stressed out, skip the binge-eating and shopping therapy and try to reconnect with nature even just for a few minutes. I swear the effects are long lasting!

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