Whether you find yourself walking aimlessly through the neighborhood or purposefully set off to tackle new adventures, magical experiences are waiting around every tree. Ever pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it under the shade of a large elm?
For as long as humans have been around, trees have provided shelter and peace and evoked serenity. We have long known that the deep roots of a tree can survive storms and natural disasters, making trees more resilient and adaptable than many man-made structures. However, we are still learning more and more about trees and their secret powers, which is sure to teach us new ways to care for and preserve ourselves and nature. Did you know that trees communicate with each other via their roots, and will send out nutrients to neighboring trees when one knows it is sick and dying?
You too can reap the benefits of trees simply by taking a walk by them and appreciating them fully. In today’s modern world, walking in nature surely offers the natural benefits of cardiovascular exercise, but strolling outdoors is also proven to improve your mood and emotional well-being, according to the University of Michigan. Researchers found that nature walks are associated with a host of mental health benefits in addition to boosting heart health and immunity. Regardless of age or fitness level, a trail out there is waiting just for you.
How to Walk Through the Trees
Nature walking among trees and flora brings the mind back to the here and now. As you commune, notice how your body feels: Heavy or light, stiff or relaxed? Make a point of noticing physical sensations, from the crunch of your shoes underfoot to the sound of your own exhales as you quicken your pace.
Do you see nature? It doesn’t matter if you’re walking in a cityscape or using the same route you’ve done 50 times before. Today’s different because you’re turning an ordinary walk into an extraordinary natural experience. Walk at your own pace and activate all of your senses so that trees are your only distraction.
Do you smell nature? Turn your attention to fragrances around you: the waft of Christmas-y pine cones or the sharp tang of eucalyptus. Each kind of tree has its own beautiful story: Did you know there are more than 100 different kinds of palm trees? Ancient sages believe that the trees closest to you will become beloved friends and teachers over time.
Do you hear nature? Notice the sounds that drift in and out. Gently bring your attention back to your own breathing, to bird calls, or the sound of rushing water. After the year we’ve had, there are many ways to connect to your own tree of life and to regain your equilibrium and balance. There’s no better time to start.