The Message of Trees

Summer is here and many of us enjoy spending time in nature. I always love being around trees and wonder what messages they have for us. They seem to be so grounded and deeply rooted, with so much wisdom and strength. I love seeing them grow and love the shade and protection trees provide.

Globally, there is a growing trend to tap into the therapeutic aspects of trees. Forest Therapy is an expanding practice that benefits mind and body.

Forest Therapy

As noted in “healthessentials” from the Cleveland Clinic, Forest therapy is rooted in the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which is often translated as “forest bathing.” But it’s not a literal bath; the term refers simply to immersing yourself in the atmosphere of the forest. Forest therapy is more than just a meander through the woods, though.

Trained forest therapy guides help participants engage in activities that help them experience the natural environment with all their senses.

"The intent is to put people in touch with present-moment experience in a very deep way,” says clinical psychologist Scott Bea, PsyD. “The sights, sounds and smells of the forest take us right into that moment, so our brains stop anticipating, recalling, ruminating and worrying.”

If you think that sounds like mindfulness, you’re right.

“Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment with intention, without judging,” Dr. Bea says. “Forest therapy involves noticing and sensing things rather than judging or evaluating.”

It’s easy to believe that Forest Therapy has positive health effects and for sure more research will be conducted and published to verify this. From my personal experience, I know how much a walk in nature relaxes and re-energizes me, and now coupled with mindfulness and other therapeutic methods, it must be very powerful.

Three Things You Can Do
Whether or not you want to explore Forest Therapy, try to connect deeper with the trees and nature with these three things:

1. Notice the Messages: Take a moment to notice the trees and plants you pass every day. Did they grow? Did they change? What are their messages for you?

2. Five Senses and Nature: Use your five senses when you are in nature. What sounds do you hear? What do you smell? What is the texture of the trees when you touch them?

3. Imagery – Mental Forest Walk: When you feel stressed during the day or cannot sleep at night, imagine walking through a beautiful forest, hear the sounds, smell the fresh air, touch the trees…all in your imagination. You can do this mental forest walk just for a few minutes to help you to relax at work or more extended when you have time. Like all imagery , it sure positively affects your health and wellbeing.

Contact me for FREE Breakthrough session to develop tools that connect you to nature and work for you, tools to help you handle stress and overwhelm and tools to gain clarity on what is most important in your life right now and in future.

Author's Bio: 

Ulrike Berzau, Executive Coach & Consultant, works with individuals, teams and organization to achieve exceptional results in life and business. With extensive experience as healthcare executive, she is known for providing highly respected insights and creative solutions to secure continuous advancement and excellence. Ulrike has an unwavering passion for igniting the talent and brilliance in others and her international and multicultural experiences allow her to relate to a diverse audience. Her ambitious, yet well balanced, positive and inspiring mindset is the catalyst of her own success and assures the success of clients, staff and organizations.

Ulrike is the co-author of the International Best-Seller Imagine a Healthy You and an inspirational speaker. She is certified as Thinking into Results Consultant, Passion Test Facilitator, ASAP Engagement Consultant and Achieve Today Coach, and holds a Master’s Degree in Management, a Master’s Degree in Health Science, Physical Therapy, and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.