This afternoon we went for a walk in Epping Forest (which we are lucky enough to have at the end of our road). This was partly because Gill needed to get to her 10,000 steps on her FitBit. The pursuit of an entirely random number of steps prompted by a piece of technology might seem like a curse of the modern world, as sign of our ever-increasing enslavement to our devices. However, it was also because we wanted some fresh air and exercise.
Being in nature is a known to be good for the soul and an antidote to the stresses and strains of the modern world. The Japanese call it ‘Forest Bathing’ and (according to Wikipedia):
“Studies in Japan have measured changes in immune markers and stress hormones in people who regularly walked in specific forests in Japan. In addition, people with diabetes but not taking insulin found substantial benefits by lowering blood glucose levels.”
I often recommend it to people I work with as a way of lifting their spirits and clearing the brain fog that they find themselves in. It allows for some reflection and contemplation, or just thinking about nothing. Anything that calms the mind is helpful in the midst of the overwhelm we often experience.
It is certainly a ‘good thing’ and we felt better for doing it. And is it so bad if it took a bit of technology to prompt us to get out of our chairs on a chilly afternoon?