Thursday, June 14, 2012

Forest Bathing

Often, a foreign language will have a term that succinctly and exquisitely describes a thought, a feeling or an experience. For example, I wrote about Shibumi, a Japanese word which describes the sophistication of simple things.

A new Japanese word was presented, all thanks to wait in the doctor's office, and a flutter through the June issue of the Oprah magazine.

Shinrin-yoku or "forest bathing" is the Japanese practice of spending time in the forest. 

According to this study from Tokyo's Nippon Medical School, participants showed an increase in disease-fighting white blood cells.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your walk in the woods:
  1. Leave your music behind. Instead, choose to listen to the symphony of sounds - the drumming of an industrious woodpecker; the hoohoooohooooo of an owl, up too early; the shhhshshsh of rain as it sluices through the leaves; the distant whistle of a train.
  2. Take note of Mother Nature's palette. How many shades of green do you notice? Brown? Blue? What has changed since your last visit? 
  3. How do you feel? Is there a lot of head-chatter? (This was something I noticed about myself. I was undoing the benefits of the walk, worrying about this, that and everything else. Fortunately, I learned how to stop the worry by activating the power of my heart. Now, I replace those unproductive thoughts by changing my heart rate variability.)
  4. Speed up. Slow down. Amble. Saunter. Stroll. Stride. Enjoy!
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." ~ John Muir

When was the last time you had the pleasure of being out in nature? What insights have you had while forest bathing?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tending to the Garden

"When the world wearies and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden." ~ Minnie Aumonier

To help make your yard and garden more beautiful, whilst saving wear and tear on your hands, there's the Fiskars® line of products. Thanks to their generosity, I am able to offer a giveaway on A Rheumful of Tips

Even if you don't have a need, this Bypass Pruner makes a great gift for the gardener in your life.

PowerGear® Large Bypass Pruner

Act quickly. Entries must be received by midnight, PDT, on Monday, June 4th, 2012.

To enter, please visit Love and a Bypass Pruner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fade Your Fear and Get in the Swim!

It's a fact that fear triggers the stress response. It's also a fact that you can learn to face your fear and finally follow your heart's desire.

I was fortunate to be able to contribute a guest post for the engaging, encouraging and enthusiastic Christian Johannsen of Foot Solutions - Vancouver.

I invite you to visit Christian's blog to read Triathlon: Is Stress Stopping You?