Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

Beyond blue to green

Nature – whether in the wild or in carefully groomed gardens – is good for emotional well-being. We feel less stressed and anxious in green environments; feeling good is accompanied by decreases in blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones which is good news when it comes to heart health.

The Japanese have an interesting practice called “shinrin-yoku” or forest bathing – they find that walking through a forest reduces stress more than walking the same distance or time in a city. Interacting with nature is also good therapy when it comes to depression and sadness. So going out for a walk is good advice, particularly if your walk is through the bush.

A very important finding is that children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have better concentration and are more productive following a short walk in a park.

If you can’t get out and onto the land as much as you’d like, bring nature indoors. House plants, windowsill herb gardens, small trees, “rooms with a view” and even artwork featuring nature are all ways of getting a little more Vitamin G into your life every day.