Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution #1: Spend more time in nature

A walk in the woods can temper a week of worries.  In Japan, the practice of "forest-bathing" (shinrin-yoku) is promoted as a healthful practice for calming and restoring the spirit.  City stimulation taxes the brain-- the constant background drone of machinery, the changing quality of light, the barrage of visual information takes its toll on us physiologically and psychologically.  The quieter pace of natural novelty encourages contemplation, relaxation and a more regular rhythm for both body and brain.  The flora increases available oxygen, and there are fewer interruptions to thought. Walking calms the parasympathetic nervous system and provides gentle exercise without the need for a gym membership or bulky equipment.

In the valley, there are numerous close-in trails where one can feel enveloped in natural beauty.  Terrains range from short 1/2 mile loops on boardwalks (Jackson-Frasier Wetlands) to McDonald Forest's more than 80 miles of trail through old growth and foothills. The Benton County public library has put a PDF of Phillip Hays' guide to Corvallis trails on-line-- find it here.

Resolve to spend a half hour or a day in the woods, and see what it brings you.
 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jana, for blogging. You offer me reminders and a sympathetic spirit.
    Marilyn W

    ReplyDelete
  2. Marilyn;
    Your grace in difficulty was inspirational to me. Thanks for your comment.
    Jana

    ReplyDelete

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