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Doctor's Orders: Daily Dose of Forest

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

In 2019, Finland was chosen as the happiest country in the world – for the second time in a row! That's fantastic news.

While we might agree or disagree on the research method or the chosen criteria, there’s one source of happiness and well-being which can’t be disputed: The Nature and more precisely the Forest.

Nature treats anxiety

Stress and insufficient recovery from stress is an important public health concern. A lot of people have lost their nature connection, especially in big cities. Depression and other mental issues have increased and influence the quality of life and healthcare services.

Forest will heal even if you don’t consider yourself as an outdoor person. It’s enough if you just keep your eyes open, glance around the multiple tones of green and appreciate every form of wrinkled tree. The best healing impact has a view which has both shelter and space, like forest, beach or field.

If you close your eyes, forest will continue the therapy. Then it’s all about the silence – or more precisely the sounds of forest: birds, water, humming of the wind.

Forest is also a place to escape. Nature does not require anything from you and it will give you a place to be free from social engagements.

The trees and plants will also emit oils called phytoncides. Phytoncides released from trees decrease the production of stress hormones and overall reduces stress in humans,

Forest bathing

Finland along with Japan, USA, Scotland and South-Korea are the leading countries in the forest therapy research. The findings are astonishing: playing in the forest will improve children’s memory, learning skills, thinking, attention span, creativity and problem solving.

Japanese use word ’shinrin-yoku’ for therapeutic walk in the forest. It is scientifically proven that Shinrin-Yoku forest therapy walks and programs lower blood pressure, pulse rate and reduce cortisol, stress hormone level. Other benefits are improved mood and creativity, increase ability to focus and boosted immune system.

Your prescription for quick results

20 minutes in the forest will already have positive impacts on your brain and gets your spirits up. It treats your brain as concretely as Prozac – and it’s way more healthier and natural.

Here’s how the forest will heal you:

  1. Couple of minutes in the forest: your blood pressure lowers

  2. 20 minutes in the forest: your mood will improve

  3. 1 hour in the forest: your ability to focus increases

  4. 2 hours in the forest: positive impact on immune system

And here's your prescription. You're welcome!

Where to go?

Nuuksio National Park, 30 mins from Helsinki Airport

Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, 1 hour from Kittilä Airport

Archipelago National Park, 3-6 hours from Helsinki Airport

... or any forest in Finland

Learn more on Everymen’s Rights

Further reading:

Metsän parantava voima. by Florence Williams

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