You may already know scientific evidence proves hugging each other can promote certain aspects of wellness by increasing levels of oxytocin. (a.k.a. the love hormone)
Lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels
Reducing pain and anxiety
This is where it gets a little more interesting. Did you know that the same things can happen by hugging a tree?
Yes, an actual tree. Makes the term “tree hugger” seem a little more enduring to me.
In fact, it is indicated that just looking at a tree makes most people feel calmer and more at peace. Plus, it has been proven to strengthen the immune system.
There is an ancient Japanese practice called “shinrin-yoku”. Which translates to “Forest Bathing” that produces very much of the same effects.
Forest bathing is the act of immersing yourself in its atmosphere. No cell phones, no hiking, running, or jogging. Just listening to the birds, touching the leaves, breathing in the clean air, and indulging your senses in all its glorious peacefulness.
The Japanese believe it reduces stress and promotes overall wellbeing. They even have doctors that prescribe this therapeutic practice for patients with a high-stress lifestyle to bring them back in balance.
It has become a regular part of preventative healthcare in Japan.
Both rituals, either tree-hugging or forest bathing, have a wealth of benefits to help our mind and bodies stay connected in balance for a better state of health.
Chronic stress from the modern-day of life contributes to a host of ailments and disease, making it more imperative than ever to explore these miraculous connections with nature.
Studies suggest that you need only spend 5 mins a day hugging your tree to reap the benefits.
Don’t be surprised if you begin to feel a unique sensation that starts at your feet and works it way all the way up to the top of your head.
Trees are alive too and admit their own invigorating vibrations that you can feel when you pay attention and become connected, much like the grounding effect.
Try it. Take some time out alone each day to tiptoe through the forest if you can or find your own unique connection with a tree in your backyard.
Cheers to being a tree hugger!