Last fall I told my husband: “I want to go for a walk in the forest every weekend. »
I don’t know why, I suddenly felt the need to be in the forest, under the trees, surrounded by greenery and calmness. We are very lucky to live on the edge of the forest. I grew up surrounded by mountains and forests. The village where we live is located at the bottom of the Vercors, a very beautiful mountain range, and from our house we can see the Alps.
We didn’t go to the forest every weekend. We go there from time to time and each time I feel the benefits. I breathe better, I feel a sense of calm and well-being. I have the impression each time I arrive in the forest, that I’m entering an enchanted universe. The beauty of nature is a wonder that we can never get tired of. The calm of the forest soothes me.
The other day, I was reading a magazine when I came across an article about “Shinrin-yoku”. We can translate it as “forest bath”. It is a Japanese practice that recognizes the benefits of walking in the forest. The Japanese seem to have understood, long before me, the benefits of the forest. Since 1982 this practice, recognized by the Japanese State, has been integrated into the national public health program. The Japanese government has conducted numerous studies that have demonstrated the benefits of walking in the forest for our health and well-being. Reduction of stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, improvement of the immune system, concentration, mood and sleep, among others. According to the researchers, we can explain these results , in part, by the pure air we breathe in the forest as well as the essential oils diffused by the trees. When we walk in the forest, we breathe these essential oils that have many positive effects on our bodies.
Walking in the forest is simple. The only condition is to fully immerse in the experience. So we turn off our cell phones. We empty our minds, breathe deeply and we let ourselves be invaded by the calm of the forest. We simply walk around, observing the nature that surrounds us, listening to the sounds of the forest, smelling its odors. It is perhaps as simple as that to take care of ourselves.
Last weekend we went to join some friends in Haute Savoie. I love this region, as much for its mountain landscapes as for its small villages with typical charm. It was the perfect opportunity for a nice walk in the forest. We came back in great shape to start a new week.