Wellness in Difficult Times: Connecting with Nature

We all face difficult times at one point or another. In search of tools helping to ease stress and anxiety, stop worrying, and gain a sense of comfort, people resort to various pursuits, such as yoga or meditation, cooking or gardening.

Connecting with nature is one of those tools. Being out in nature energizes and rejuvenates, makes humans more relaxed, happier, and healthier.

Dr. Qing Li, the author of the book Forest Bathing, explains this phenomenon and teaches readers to maximize its benefits to wellbeing.

A medical doctor and a leading specialist in forest medicine in Japan, he researches all the ways in which being in a forest can improve wellbeing. He shows the scientific reasoning behind the humans’ sense of enjoyment and happiness, and by taking quantitative measurements (such as levels of stress hormones in the blood) and analyzing the results, he convincingly proves huge positive health effects of connecting with a forest.

Forest bathing is something that the Japanese have been practicing since the early 1980s. It is not hiking or exercising – though those are very beneficial, too. Forest bathing is a way of connecting with a forest; it is immersion into a forest atmosphere, experiencing it all through all senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; soaking in those feelings and sensations.

The author notices that not all senses are used when indoors, causing sensory deprivation; outside, all the senses open up, creating a connection to the natural world and creating a feeling of health and wellness. 

In the book, you will find recommendations on how to best practice forest bathing and learn why, in Japan, it is considered essential for maintaining good health and wellbeing. Moreover, for those thus inclined, the book contains numerous scientific data points in support of the claim.

According to the author, under certain conditions and equipped with all that is required (which is not much and easily acquired), it is possible to practice forest bathing even at home or at work. Check out the book in Overdrive or through the Libby app to learn more, and browse other forest bathing titles available on hoopla

Mysteries of Nature is a nature trilogy from another forest and nature devotee and bestselling author, Peter Wohlleben. 

In The Hidden Life of Trees , he uses the findings of latest research to weave stories of the lives of trees, their death and regeneration. He shares the secrets of trees’ hidden life and reveals hidden communication between species. You can find it in ebook and audiobook format on Overdrive and hoopla.

The Inner Life of Animals is the book about the animal world, about the animals’ feelings and emotions, and the ways they interact with the world. Check it out on Overdrive or hoopla.

The last book in the trilogy, The Secret Wisdom of Nature, is about the entire nature system, and connections between all living creatures, how they affect each other, and how the smallest change can cause a huge impact on the entire system. The audiobook is on Overdrive and an ebook version is on hoopla

What It’s Like to Be a Bird is the Abbot Public Library’s newest acquisition in nature books. It is a lovely birdwatching guide with absolutely gorgeous pictures.

Digital format makes it easy to bring the book to the forest or park or anywhere else where birdwatching happens.

Happy discoveries in nature explorations!

As always, all suggested items are free and available through Overdrive/Libby or hoopla with a library card.