When’s the last time you smelled the fresh mountain air filled with the scent of pine, or heard the wind cascade across the treetops sounding like a sporadic waterfall? Or took a leisurely stroll through a Giant Redwood forest, a walk certain to evoke an immediate sense of serenity as you stepped through the towering giants? How about a trip to the ocean where you sat among the dunes, listening the steady roar of waves, feeling the salty air on your skin, and the sand between your toes?
Mountain air, being in forests, and frequent visits to the ocean are known to to be good for your mind, body and spirit.
I always feel better when I hike through a forest or take a trip to the beach.
Unfortunately we all spend too much time in front of screens which leads to all kinds of stress and health issues.
According to blog by Katie Moritz, https://www.rewire.org/living/adults-screen-time-limits/ it’s not just kids addicted to their screens. Adults, on average spend 11 + hours per day in front of a screen of some kind. That’s nearly half our day and 75% of our waking hours.
It’s no wonder I feel so stressed out by the end of the week.
It’s important to UNPLUG. Nature is where I go for peace and serenity.
From forest bathing to sunbathing, nature is God’s natural elixir to reduce stress and promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. There’s actually scientific evidence to explain what happens:
Forest Bathing (Shinrin-yoku) is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” and was developed in the 1980’s in Japan. www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html It has become a cornerstone of preventative health in Japan and is now beginning to spread into the US. Breathing the air in a forest has been show to lower the stress hormone Cortisol. In other words, taking a walk in a forest is good for you.
Equally important for your health are regular trips to the ocean. Sea air is rich in negative ions which help accelerate your body’s ability to absorb oxygen, and balance the mood hormone, serotonin. As a result you often feel more relaxed and less stressed when you breath the ocean air. Also, the wind and waves help create a meditative state that helps clear your mind and reduce stress. That buzz of wind and waves actually has a name: “thalassotherapy”, a term coined by Hippocrates.
This past week I was fortunate to spend two days relaxing in the Sierra’s with my wife and soaking in hot natural mineral baths, also good for your skin, mind, body and soul.
It did wonders, for me. But I returned to a mountain of work that needed to be done. By Tuesday I was already uptight and felt the need to go to the coast. So I did just that and was so relaxed when I returned, I ended up sacking out at 9:30, way earlier than usual.
Today is the fourth of July and I am procrastinating working on my next book, Beyond Goal Setting. Snippets of inspiration have flowed to me throughout the past several days. For now, however, I felt compelled to share a little insight on what I do to keep sane and find balance between a stressful job and being creative.
Blogging and sharing is a part of what helps me feel useful. Sharing stories of what helps me is what I am all about. My hope, with anything I write or share, is that you become inspired to place a higher priority on your own mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
In Sonoma and Marin Counties, it will be gorgeous this weekend, I encourage you to take time away from the chores, laundry, and binge watching Netflix, and go for a walk in a forest or splash in the waves.
I’ll likely be at the beach boogie boarding and playing golf this weekend.
Shawn is an author, speaker and salesman who lives in Sonoma county with his wife and three young adults. He published Beyond Recovery in November of 2016 and is currently working on a new book, Beyond Goal Setting. When he’s not working, writing or spending time with his family, he’s likely hiking in West Marin or boogie boarding along the Marin Coast.
For more stories, please visit, www.shawnlangwell.com