In recent years, forest therapy has gained grounds for effectively treating depression and anxiety.
Readers of Enid Blyton, the iconic children’s author, may well remember her popular
characters strutting into woods or similar forested lands after an emotional meltdown or a confrontational situation.
Whether it is the “Famous Five”, the adventurous boarders at Malory Towers, or the folks of the Enchanted Wood making their way to the Faraway Tree—the woods play a pivotal role in boosting their moods and well-being.
In fact, Blyton’s works pay homage to the timeless English recreational activity of walking and spending time outdoors for health benefits.
Today, this practice forms the central tenet of forest therapy, a form of therapy that includes a collection of outdoor activities to improve human health or welfare in a forest environment.
Also known as “forest bathing”, it often includes exercises related to hillwalking, scrambling, hiking, adventurous play, and even forest meditation.
Emerging research has affirmed that the benefits of forest therapy lie in reducing stress or mental fatigue and inducing positive emotions.
Staying and walking through forested lands reduce symptoms of hostility, untreated trauma, depression, and anxiety.
The therapy form is positively tied to children’s and adolescents’ cognitive health as well as psychological recovery and vitality in the adult and the elderly population.
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