Updated: Feb 21
Tree hugging, a gamechanger for stress.
Our global business is ruled by stress and a hectic bustle. Holidays are far, so what to do to disconnect and relax? I have good news, the ideal place to charge batteries is just on your doorstep: Forests are the perfect place to just switch off and air your mind. What is more, forests are ecosystems and just 15 min are enough to get you down to earth and calm you.
Woods have a soothing effect because of their green color: owing to evolution the human eye is instantly happy when it sees green. Our subconscious mind associates green with water, food, shade, protection, and calmness. The Japanese environment immunologist, Qing Li, has discovered that immersing oneself in greenery eases fears and depression while lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels. In addition, when we are in the woods, we inhale phytoncides, antimicrobial substances, and essential oils which strengthen our immune system. The health-promoting and stress-relieving effects of stone pine scent have even been scientifically proven.
The concept of "Shinrin-yoku" translated literally as "forest bathing" means becoming one with the forest and soaking up its atmosphere. This term was coined in 1982 by the Japanese Ministry of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. And indeed, a bath in nature means diving into an ecosystem that impacts on all your senses. Ready, let's go for a walk together? Come on, feel the dry leaves rustle beneath your feet. Look, a little brook babbling secretly, can you hear the cold crystal clear water? Focus on the many little things that you see in the forest: the red rose hips, a snail creeping slowly across a brown mushroom, the call of a bird seeking your attention. Smell and dive into the scent of moss, pine needles, and the damp forest soil. Watch the sun´s play of light and shadow on the green leaves, what an incredibly calming effect liberating the spirit.
Hugging a tree increases the release of oxytocin, a hormone triggering the feeling of calmness and emotional bonding. Serotonin and dopamine are also released triggering happiness and self-healing processes in the body. Trees are powerful systems that deliver a very special energy. Eye-catching old trees often stand on places of power, which we call in Austrian dialect "Energie-Platzerl" meaning "a place of high-vibes", the perfect place for meditation or mindfulness. Fact is, hugging trees promotes health because tree bark contains terpenes that strengthen the immune system and may protect against cancer. Thanks to photosynthesis, a 100-year-old fir tree produces around 13 kilograms of oxygen. That´s enough for 10 people to breathe healthily for a whole day. By breathing and touching the tree you re-charge, re-connect and ground yourself downloading stress, and uploading pure wellness.
If you are attracted by a special tree, it is very likely an energy provider for your needs.
Tree hugging, how does it work?
Select a tree according to your attraction
Get in contact, touch the tree with the right hand
Hug the tree and try to feel its energy, slow down
Imagine that your feet connect with the roots of the tree, grounding you deeply in the earth
Imagine how the earth´s energy reaches from the roots to the crown, strengthening you from foot to head
Enter an inner dialog
Enjoy, feel safe, and stay there as long as you feel comfortable
Are you ready to become a tree hugger?