Stressed Out? Maybe Try Japanese Forest Therapy

Samuel Reason | March 29th, 2018

As we know the office culture in Japan is pretty crazy. People work ridiculously long hours and have literally no paid holiday. In fact, we are not even sure when they sleep. Stress is very high in this region of the world and burnout is a frequent office problem. Lately, the government has tried initiatives to promote change, but it looks like this office culture is ingrained in Japanese society.

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Doctors have resulted by starting to prescribe forest therapy. A new form of anti-stress and ensuring that the mind stays calm. Researchers have found that just a small walk in the woods can have an amazing relaxing effect on the body. Based on these findings, some local Japanese governments are really promoting “forest therapy” as the solution.

How would you react if your doctor wrote a prescription that said: “go walk around some trees.”

Yet this could be the future, studies show that the smell of trees and the sounds of the forest life definitely calm the body. The feel of sunshine on the skin can really help the mind stay calm. This means that forests are able to lower stress levels and make people feel more at ease with a situation in their life.

Researchers even checked things like heartbeats and blood pressure, finding that they also had fluctuations that could be explained by the person becoming calmer during the walk in nature. Evidence also supports it can help immune systems grow stronger. A stronger immune system is known to boost stress resistance.

The theory is that when we walk around in nature our bodies are remembering how humans live millions of years ago – they go back to how we were supposed to live. This reminds our cells of how life used to be and the result is a calming effect.

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