Do You Have "Inside-itus?" Get Outside and Indulge in Some Forest-Bathing - aka Shinrin Yoku

I've been inside all week with phone, Skype & in-person consults. I really enjoy the people I get to work with. It's a pleasure and privilege helping people get quality books, presentations and businesses out in the world. treadmill people

At the same time, the hotel I''m staying at doesn’t have "open-able" windows. You can LOOK out its huge floor to ceiling windows, but you can't open them to get fresh air.

An architect told me this "sleek design" saves considerable money, energy and maintenance, but it means there’s no fresh air, ever.   I had “inside-itus.”

In that moment on the treadmill, I didn’t even care that it was raining outside, I had a NEED FOR GREEN.

So, I jumped off the treadmill and headed outside.

The left side of the hotel parking lot led to a busy street. The right side was bordered by a tree-lined back road that led behind a parking garage. That back road beckoned to me so I thought I’d explore it.

Look what I discovered 100 yards (!) away. A lovely park with colorful flowers, a pond, winding path and a WATER FOUNTAIN.

park green

Aaahhh … what a metaphor.

What could we discover if we just got off the treadmill? What’s hidden delights are on the other side of the parking garage? What magical discoveries await us ... outside our front door?

Many of us spend 20 hours+ a day inside, and many of us SIT twelve or more hours a day.

We live in a house, condo or apartment building. We work at home or commute to an office, factory, store, our company’s headquarters. We go to movies, restaurants and malls. We commute to and from work in a car, Metro, train or bus.

Meanwhile, nature sits outside waiting for us to re-notice and re-experience her miracles.

Our bodies, our souls, are yearning for fresh air.

I found myself feeling positively joyous as I trekked around the lake on the lush green grass, singing to myself.

I’ve written before about the phenomenon of, a Japanese term for FOREST-BATHING.

As I bathed my spirit in the forest of trees surrounding this oasis of nature, I kept wondering “WHY do I feel so happy here?”

Well, I'm near water and I'm forest-bathing, but then it occurred to me, my eyes were being drawn upward to gaze at and drink in nature's lush green canopy.

That's why it was such an uplifting experience.  Thinks were, literally and figuratively, looking up.

So it is.

We’ve all seen, heard or read research that shows how our body languae influences our mood.

When we’re feeling down, we’re often looking down.

One way to change that is to look up. The very act of lifting our gaze lifts our spirits.

When we look up at and feast on green nature, our souls are nourished.  When we raise our eyes, we raise our spirits.

Promise yourself, this weekend, you’ll get up off the couch, out of the Lazy Boy, out from behind your desk, laptop or digital divice ... and head outside to counter-act "inside-itis."

Whether it’s to work in your garden or backyard, go for a walk or run, head to a local park, beach or forest trail, shore, whatever … just get outside.

Look up. Look around. Breathe in. Aaaahhhhh.  Thinks are looking up.