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Walk slowly, breathe deeply and engage the senses
It may be the answer you are looking for, a natural remedy for your modern, stressful, urban lifestyle. Think of it as your prescription to lower stress and anxiety levels and boost your immune system, all without the need for any pills or painful injections. Interested? Of course, you are. So what exactly is a Nature Therapy Walk and how is it good for you?
Immerse yourself in nature on a Nature Therapy Walk (Image Credit: Australian Botanic Garden)
Nature Therapy, also known as Forest Therapy or shinrin-yoku in Japan, is the practice of immersing yourself or "bathing" in nature. Rest assured you can remain fully clothed, it is simply about taking time out of your busy life, slowing down, and connecting with nature in a mindful way.
The practice uses aspects of meditation and mindfulness as participants are lead through a series of sensory experiences, mindfulness invitations, quiet aware walking and nature appreciation all with a view to promote slowing down, calming the mind, connecting to nature and relaxation. The process can be explained simply as "walk slowly, breathe deeply and engage the five senses".
This is your invitation to walk slowly, breathe deeply and engage the five senses (Image Credit: Australian Botanic Garden)
The proven therapeutic benefits include improving your mood, reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, building a stronger immune system, encouraging better sleep and increasing focus and energy. Studies have shown that as little as a monthly dose of nature therapy can result in positive health effects.
With such impressive benefits, there is no doubt you will want to try it for yourself and you can do so at the Australian Botanic Garden at Mount Annan. The Australian Botanic Garden, in conjunction with In My Nature, are hosting Nature Therapy Walks on selected dates throughout the year. The walks will be facilitated by a guide who is certified and accredited by the International Nature and Forest Therapy Alliance. The sessions will run for two hours and will conclude with a Japanese-inspired tea ceremony. The cost is $35 per person.
Connect with nature at the Australian Botanic Garden