by clicking the "Next" arrow.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Mindful : October 2019
By Alice Peck VIDEO An Awe Walk in the Woods Tap into a deeper sense of purpose and well-being with this VR forest meditation. mindful.org/ awewalk m Let Nature Heal You We know that trees are essential for the health of the planet. Turns out, they play a role in our health, too. We all know intuitively that going outside is good for us, and a growing foundation of science and neurosci- ence underlies the health benefits of being outdoors. In the 1980s, the sec- retary of Japan’s Ministry of Agri- culture, Forestry, and Fisheries coined the term shinrin-yoku for making contact with and being affected—both physically and mentally—by the atmosphere of the forest. Shinrin-yoku translates in the West as “forest bathing” and is part of what I call the green cure: connecting with the natural world to help us thrive phys- ically, cognitively, emotionally, and even spiritually. Forest bathing incorporates many of the benefits of meditation while getting us outdoors and in motion. In a study at the College of Landscape Architecture at Sichuan Agricultural University, 30 men and 30 women were given a route of the same length to walk in either a bamboo forest or an urban area. The researchers measured blood pressure as well as electrical activity in the brain using an EEG, and they found that, among those who walked the forest path, blood pressure was lowered significantly as attention and concentration improved. The people walking in nature reported less anxiety and a generally happier mood than the urban group. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and myriad other sources maintain that the simple act of intentional, attentive time with trees: • Decreases fatigue • Increases the ability to focus, even in children with ADHD • Speeds up recovery from surgery or illness • Regulates the endocrine (hormon- al) system • Enhances the ability to relax and get a better night’s sleep • Increases energy Forest bathing is an active process, not just a matter of being near trees as static objects. Many species, including pine, yew, hop hornbeam, and sugi, emit biochemicals called phytoncides, pungent essential oils with antimicro- bial properties that interact with our central nervous system and have calm- ing, anesthetic qualities. They have been proven to boost the trees’ health as well as our own immune systems. PARTING THOUGHT Earthing involves walking bare- foot and connecting directly to the soil without the barrier of pave- ment or shoes. It is a matter of contact with our soil, our planet— of truly touching Earth. The science is still fairly new and limited on this subject, but studies have shown how the electrically conductive contact between human bodies and Earth’s surface seems to have an effect on health: It may diminish inflammation, enhance immunity and wound healing, and may also lessen pain by altering the numbers of circulating white blood cells (neutrophils and lymphocytes) affecting inflammation. 28 mindful October 2019 how to