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8 Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Forest

Photo: Maksim Shutov

This post is about 8 Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Forest.

Today is The International Day of Forests. This day is an annual observance that takes place on March 21st of every year. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 to raise awareness about the importance of forests and trees in our environment and to promote sustainable forest management practices. The day also serves as an opportunity to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the world’s forests and to recognize the many benefits they provide, including clean air and water, biodiversity, and livelihoods for millions of people around the world.

The theme for each year’s celebration is chosen by the UN Forum on Forests, and events and activities are held around the world to highlight the importance of forests in our lives. The theme for this year is Forests and Health.

Here are 8 Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Forest

  1. Reducing stress: Studies have shown that spending time in nature, including forests, can reduce stress levels and improve mood.
  2. Boosting immune system: Forests release organic compounds called phytoncides that have been shown to boost the immune system.
  3. Improving cardiovascular health: Spending time in nature can lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, and improve circulation.
  4. Enhancing cognitive function: Forests have been shown to improve cognitive function and attention span, especially in children.
  5. Increasing physical activity: Walking or hiking in the forest can provide a low-impact form of exercise that can improve overall fitness and health.
  6. Promoting creativity: Being in a natural environment can promote creativity and inspire new ideas.
  7. Improving sleep: Exposure to natural light and fresh air can improve sleep quality and regulate sleep-wake cycles.
  8. Boosting mood and well-being: Spending time in the forest can improve mood and overall well-being, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and increase feelings of happiness.

Overall, spending time in the forest can provide a much-needed break from the stresses of modern life and help us reconnect with our inner child, nature, leading to a range of physical, emotional and mental health benefits.



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Sydney Registered Clinical Psychotherapist, Therapeutic Counsellor, Trauma + Eating Disorder Therapist, Jodie Gale, is a leading specialist in women’s emotional, psychological and spiritual health and well-being. Over the last 20+ years, Jodie has helped 100s of women transform their lives. She has a private counselling, life-coaching and psychotherapy practice in Manly, Allambie Heights and Frenchs Forest on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Jodie is passionate about putting the soul back into therapy!



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