I’ve recently watched Into the Wild for the very first time in my life (I know, I know, I should have done it way earlier), and I must admit that it left me absolutely astonished. Sean Penn’s spellbinding film adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book is a wonderful reminder that escaping society and returning to the embrace of nature is something every human being needs. Now, I’m not saying that we too should renounce civilization, abandon our loved ones and disappear into the woods with nothing but a handful of books about survival and edible wild plants. All I’m saying is that visiting and spending time in our favourite forest once or twice a week can turn out to be one of the most effective ways to unwind and reach emotional balance.
Many researchers believe that the sight and sounds of untouched wilderness reduce stress, fear and anger, and increase pleasant feelings. Surrounding ourselves with countless trees and singing birds every once in a while can be immensely therapeutic for both our mind and our body. That’s right – many experts claim that exposure to nature not only improves our mood, but also contributes to our physical wellbeing by lowering our blood pressure and our heart rate.
Spending time in the great outdoors can be fun, too. I personally love exploring new forests and climbing new heights with the help of my walking poles. Speaking of walking or hiking poles, I’m sure you’ve already noticed that they have become a very popular hiking accessory. From adventurous young individuals to weak elderly persons, hiking sticks seem to be useful and suitable for everyone. Good-quality hiking poles should provide you with the necessary stability and balance when walking on rough terrains. Furthermore, some studies show that trekking poles increase the number of calories burned while hiking, which, of course, is a great health benefit.
When it comes to spending time in nature, I’m afraid too many people believe that this activity is solely for those who don’t mind feeling lonesome, perceiving nature as a place of isolation and solitude. If you, too, are one of them, then I must say that you are mistaken. It is in nature, not in the concrete jungle we spend most of our days in, where we feel that strong, intimate connection with the whole world. Deep down, you know this is true, you know that Mother Nature brings us closer together, nurtures us, and heals us.