The forest is a very special place and more and more people are convinced that a walk in the forest is good for their well-being. I myself enjoy it every time I walk through a forest, because all forests have their special features.
Forest bathing: Every forest is different and offers its own unique atmosphere. Moreover, the state and mood of the forest changes depending on the season. And even the time of day already changes the forest experience.
While in spring it is the blossoms and the chirping of birds in the forest that attract many people to nature, in summer it is the pleasant temperatures and the special scent in the forest. For even in hot periods, forests offer a pleasant atmosphere. In autumn, it is the colourful leaves that transform every forest into a special setting. Deciduous forests with their magnificent play of colours ranging from green, brown and yellow to red leaves put almost every forest visitor in a very special mood. In winter, the trees offer protection from cold winds, making a walk a pleasant experience even in winter. Forests are good for us humans.
Forests are a fascinating place. They provide a home for a wide variety of animals and are home to a diverse plant life, with each individual forest being special. But one thing all forests have in common is that they form a fascinating ecosystem without which life for humans & animals would be impossible.
From a scientific point of view, forests are gigantic filtering systems that clean our air of dust, among other things. For example, the air in the forest is many times less polluted with dust particles than the air in cities. Forest soils are also huge water reservoirs that do not dry out even during hot spells.
From an economic point of view, the forest is an important economic factor, because the hunger for wood is unbroken worldwide. People use wood for building houses, for furniture production, for paper manufacturing and even in clothing there are components of wood. Furthermore, wood is also used as fuel.
Since wood is a renewable raw material, the use of wood could be made sustainable. This means that only as much wood is used as can grow back. But worldwide the demand for wood is so great that in some places trees are felled without regard for the environment. What is left behind is often a barren landscape that no longer provides a habitat for animals and plants. You should therefore make sure that you buy wood products from sustainable production. Forests are important for the survival of humans and animals.
Go outside and let the forest take effect on you. The next forest area is certainly not far away.
It is not difficult to perceive the forest atmosphere, you do not need to understand the ecological connections of the forest. Even a short walk through the forest will improve your well-being. But in order to really enjoy the forest, you should adapt your behaviour in the forest. Slow down, let the surroundings take effect on you. There is no need to rush. In Japan, the so-called Shinrin Yoku, forest bathing, has been a tradition for a long time. But it is not to be compared with hiking or going for a walk. It is a special way of perceiving the forest and has health-promoting effects. It has come to be called nature therapy.
But even a short stay in one of the world’s forests has positive effects on each individual forest visitor. Forest is stress-reducing, because nature distracts and sometimes clears thoughts. The soft light in the forest, the clear air, the special scent, the unique soundscape and the fascination of old trees make up the unique mix that makes every visit to the forest have a special effect on every individual.
Furthermore, bioactive substances such as terpenes, which emanate from plants (ferns, flowers and moss) and trees and are absorbed by people, have positive effects on the immune system. The body of each individual is said to produce more natural killer cells by inhaling the special forest air, thus strengthening the immune system. The scent of the forest also often brings back fond memories to the mind. Forest is good for us, it is medicine for body and mind.
Forest does you good
The forest is also a source of herbs and plants whose properties are useful for human well-being when used correctly. In the past, herbs and plants from the forest were often the only remedy for diseases and ailments. Today, modern preparations from the pharmacy have taken over. It should not be forgotten that modern pharmaceutical research still uses the knowledge about the healing properties of plants and herbs from the forest for the production of medicines.
So-called wild herb excursions are also becoming increasingly popular. During these, an experienced guide imparts interesting information about the useful properties of medicinal plants in the forest or along the path. The stinging nettle, for example, is often found in forests. Its ingredients are useful for external and internal complaints. In addition, stinging nettle can be used as a culinary herb. However, care and caution should be exercised in any use of self-collected herbs, because it is often the dose that determines whether an application is useful or not.
The conclusion is that a stay in the forest is good for people. It does not matter whether certain influences on the human organism have already been scientifically proven or not. Try it out for yourself and go out into the forest or park after a strenuous day or when you have problems. Take time for yourself and let the surroundings have an effect on you. It does not matter how long you stay in the forest. But the deeper you go into the forest, the more you will experience it. Exercise in the fresh air is good for your health. However, for an intensive forest experience, the focus should be on perception. Physical exertion is not desired in so-called forest bathing. The goal is to notice small things along the way. Feel nature and breathe deeply. Have fun.