Saturday, 19 June 2021

LIFESTYLE // Prescription; Time In Nature

Prescription: Time In Nature

Have you heard that in Japan doctors are now prescribing “Forest Medicine” to heal yourself? The idea was floated centuries ago that time in nature can actual help alleviate a host of symptomatic problems from the mind and body. In 2019 The Guardian released an article on Forest Bathing which I found so interesting and which I have since found out more about thanks to listening to people like Georgie Crawford and Shirley Gleeson.

The basic idea is about finding a connection with nature. This is something that in the last year especially has been a feature in my transformative way of thinking. 

There is so much science based research surrounding the fact that nature heals. That if we give time to be in nature, that we can heal and that the cost of this is completely free. It is just down to us making the commitment to give ourselves that healing time. 

The idea of forest bathing is that you give yourself the opportunity to sit with the trees. It sounds like an idea from the 70s: living in commune, walking bare feet through the fields; well, by the sound of it, they got the idea that we need to connect to nature to be able to work properly. This idea has been so on my radar this last year. I have decided to make sure that I give myself the time to be outside in a variety of ways, for fitness and for mental health. Using the vast space Lincolnshire has to offer as a backdrop to my choosing to connect with the world. 

Reading through articles talking about the benefits of forest bathing is quite amazing. Most talk about its power to counter illnesses like depression, anxiety or stress. Spending time in nature reduces blood pressure, boosts the immune system and aids sleep. There is even talk of it helping fight the battles against cancer and heart conditions, which knowing little about them I won’t say a lot on but I do believe the idea of healing in nature is transformative, even if it doesn’t cure all, it allows you to reconnect with your body and mind and helps you heal.

Nature and healing have often gone hand in hand. Not only on a dietary level, and with this idea that actually walking barefoot, spending time in the trees and literally touching the earth can have enormous benefits to our bodies. For some time now I have only being exercising outside. Mainly because it is all we have been able to do due to the pandemic but I have found a work out outside is 10 times more effective than a work out in the gym. The main difference being in that it changes my mood. In the gym it can seem like a “have to do” mentality, outside it just feels like a bonus to your day. Getting in a half hour brisk walk, rather than a half hour on a cross trainer leaves me feeling like I have actually achieved something and what's more, actually makes me think less about my figure and more about my overall health. That is the shift that being out in nature has really brought me. I feel my well being in all areas is changing. In the gym I am only there to make myself thinner. It's that serious though. I didn’t go to the gym to keep fit, to create routines and habits that will assist me in living a long healthy life. I went to the gym to look good. Shifting my thinking to now working out to live better and for as long as possible has transformed my connection with me. How I look at myself. How I live. 

Nature isn’t there to just heal you after one walk. Nature is there every day: sit in it, bathe in it, bask in the light. Nature is a constant healer for so many things. Prescribe it for yourself.


No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig