Author & Video – Emma Triplett

Does it matter what time of year you go for a walk. 

No, not at all.   In the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing), most of the studies have focused on benefits of the chemicals and resins that trees release, especially in evergreen forests.  But how often do you go out for a walk, take a deep breath and smell the fresh air? 

It is taking those deep breaths which relaxes your system.  When you are in flight or fight, your breathing increases and when you’re inundated with stresses of the modern day life you breath at a faster rate than normal and your heart rate is accelerated.  This is because the sympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system has been activated by your mind thinking there is some sort of crisis, emergency of danger from the worrying and what if-ing, focusing on problems or not getting enough time to evaluate and put things in perspective.  However, when you take a few deep breaths of fresh air in natural surroundings, your body and mind can slow down and just the act of doing that is starts to relax your whole system.

 

We have a primitive blueprint which was designed over half a million years ago, we weren’t programmed to live at this fast pace, there would have been much walking around slowly and quietly, we wouldn’t have been constantly bombarded with unnatural noises which we are in our modern day lives such as TVs or radios, traffic and other manmade devices which is unnatural for us.  Our sense, our sight, hearing, smell is overwhelmed with information and we need on occasion just to be able to restore a natural rhythm, unwind and calm the systems so our flight/fight system can relax and only then, when we are not being constantly stimulated by the white noise of the modern world that our body can return to balance and be present.

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