It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation form old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. -Robert Louis Stevenson
Berry stained clothes always displeased my Mom whenever I clambered the large Mulberry tree. They called me a wild child or tomboy. I was just having fun, especially in my cotton candy tree. Surrounded by feathery purple plumes of flowers, I would sit for hours on its branches. Back then, little did I know how beneficial trees were to human life.
According to Immacula Oligario of www.yesicandoit2.com, “essential to living organisms, trees are like huge lungs of our planet; producing free oxygen to all and removing carbon dioxides from our environment.” That’s why in Japan it’s common practice to Forest Bathe, Shinrin-yoku in Japanese. Some of you may be asking, do I have to take my clothes off in the middle of a forest? No; nor do you have to climb any trees.
Forest Bathing is where you visit a park or arboretum and just walk, hike or sit for an hour or two while breathing in the crisp air. Dr. Kahn states, “research has found that Forest Bathing decreases the stress hormone cortisol, reduces heart rate, and lowers blood pressure when walking through a wooded area.” The Outdoors Heals Your Heart. Reader’s Digest, (1102), pp.66-67. If you can get to a park and workout, all the better. Dr. Kahn also states, “ exercising outdoors gives you more revitalization and energy.” If you want “less anger, tension, and depression then take a walk in a wooded area or park.”
Do you live in the country, suburbia or urban area? Regardless, the quality of your indoor air is as important as outdoor air. Working in stagnant air at home or office exposes you to indoor air pollution. Let’s bring the outdoors, inside. House plants like Boston Fern and Bamboo will help remove the toxic gas formaldehyde from your indoor space; while Lily Turf, Lady Palm and King of Heart will help with the removal of ammonia from your environment.
So if you can, go outside to your nearest park or arboretum. My fellow writer SteVon Edwards told me about Outdoor Afro. They unite people of color throughout the United States with the outdoors through various activities. For example, hiking, biking, camping and much more. If you can’t get outdoors you can still gain the health benefits from nature. The above houseplants are very inexpensive and widely available.
About Christine Taylor
New York native Christine L. Taylor earned her Communications degree from The City University of New York. Through writing, Christine found a way to merge her passions and escape the shackles of a routine desk job.