How do you feel after being outside, in nature, for a little while? Relaxed, calmer, more at ease and invigorated perhaps? How often do you do this? Did you know there are health benefits to being in nature? I believe most of us experience the benefits without really giving it much thought. 

Studies have shown there is  a reduction in anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, a decrease in stress hormones, a decrease in heart rate, boosts the immune system and enhances the feeling of overall wellness. The ancient Japanese tradition of Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku) began making its way back into that cultural in 1982. There are now designated areas for just “Forest walking ” in Japan. Other countries, including the United States, have begun incorporating aspects of nature into their medical wellness programs.

I know we have all felt the benefits of being in nature. The simultaneous calming and invigorating effect it can have is wonderful. I feel more alive after being in nature-whether its walking in a forest, nature trail, walking by a river (lake or pond) and sometimes just being in my backyard-next to one of my favorite trees.


Be in nature-daily for 15 minutes or more! Do this for a week or two. During this experience, sit or amble along, take in the sights (colors, plants, animals, textures), sounds (birds, breeze, etc), feeling the warmth of the sun or wind on your skin, breathe deeply (what scents do you smell?). Touch the tree bark, plants and earth. Really allowing each sensation to be appreciated. Forest bathing is an amble or sitting. You aren’t hiking, jogging, fast walking, etc. It’s not “exercise”. It’s more of an appreciation, felt in your heart, for the natural world that you are surrounded by and immersed in. Whether it is a forest trail, local park, your backyard or being next to your favorite tree… it does the body good! All our bodies (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual) benefit from being in nature. If the weather is “bad”-bundle up, dress for the elements and enjoy a unique experience. 

You can add to the experience – communicating with the trees, other plants, rocks, birds and other animals. As you choose to communicate, let’s say to the tree, pause, feel and hear the response. The response may come as images, feelings or words. Allow yourself the opportunity to deepen your experience in this most magical way. Trust the responses that you have as you commune with nature. As you practice this, you may be surprised at the loving communication you may have with nature. We are a part of nature, we are nature, we are an integral part of the web of life. Have fun! See you soon!

If Covid-19 has effected your ability to go out and enjoy a walk in the woods, please enjoy this Virtual Forest Walk, provided by the 4K Relaxation YouTube Channel.