Have the stresses of your everyday life been weighing on you even more than usual lately? Many studies have shown that taking some time to escape into the woods can help you reduce your anxiety, stress and depression, and can have many other soothing effects on people. In fact, the experience known as “forest bathing” has started to gain greater popularity in recent years, a sort of therapy that helps people reconnect with nature and reinvigorate their bodies and minds.

Here are a few of the sights, sounds and other aspects of the woods that make it a rejuvenating place for body and soul:

#1: Birds

There’s a reason why the sounds of birds chirping are often used on relaxation tapes or white noise machines—it’s incredibly soothing. Birdwatching is also an activity that can help take you out of the worries of your day-to-day life and bring you closer to nature. You’ll not just learn about the different types of birds in your neck of the woods, but you’ll also give yourself an excuse to get out to the forest and find and identify more birds.

#2: Biodiversity

We never really realize just how much diversity there is in the wilderness until you get out and immerse yourself in it. The next time you go out into the woods, take a moment to stop and look around and see how many different trees, plants, flowers and animals you see and hear. It is fascinating and a bit humbling to realize how much life there is not just on the planet, but practically right in our own backyards.

#3: Plants 

We already talked about the diversity of life you’ll find in the forests, but let’s focus specifically on the plants for a moment. The smell of the forest is one of the best parts of escaping to the woods. The fresh air, the smells of the various types of trees and flowers—this is perhaps the most relaxing aspect of any trip to the forest, and it’s made possible by the plants. That “pine” smell we covet is isopropene, said to be ade-stressing related compound. Take a moment to sit down, close your eyes and listen to the breeze pass through the leaves of the trees. What could be better?

#4: Animals

There are all kinds of different animals you’re likely to find in the woods, from the birds in the sky and the trees to the insects on the ground. There are smaller mammals like rabbits and squirrels, and depending on where you go, larger ones like deer, bears, wolves and moose. Observing the animals can be thrilling, or it can be relaxing.

#5: Surprises At Every Turn Of The Trail

Perhaps the greatest thing about the forest is that you’ll never have the same experience twice. You’ll always see different sets of animals, catch different smells, notice different plants or bugs and have other surprises pop up along the trail. This is because the forest is itself a living entity that’s constantly growing and changing.

What is your favourite forest experience? Share yours by leaving a comment below.

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