By Souls of Sliver
Forests are an important factor in today’s world as it not only provides a get-away from our mundane lives, but also plays an essential role in shaping our spiritual and mental being by providing an escape from the daily chores.
The term ‘spiritual’ is defined by social scientist and researcher, Herbert W. Schroeder as the understanding of a relation with another being. This relationship with the opponent surpasses all our senses and gives us a better insight to life that cannot achieved with our intellect. This relationship is very subtle and it does not take the form of any sort of religious connotations or the belief we hold for God. The purity and delicacy of this affection makes it difficult to put into words.
We are not aware of our subconscious feelings, thoughts, and memories which are a part of our conscious awareness, psyche and our unconscious mind. Psychologists are of the opinion that it is our duty to look into our inner selves and understand our spirituality or instincts and let it out onto the foliage of the wilderness.
The wildness of nature and splendid symmetry of the forests help us to reach for our goal in life which is to accomplish wholeness. The various kinds of wild patches of land such as the rainforests and the wild greenery help us realize our own spiritual being. It is difficult for us to understand this feeling of admiration and spirituality in the urban world as compared to the experience when our inner thoughts and emotions are casted upon the wild greenery.
Forests play an important role in understanding our deepest instincts which we always try to subdue throughout the entire day. It allows us to create a path that brings to the fore our inner desires that we hold back because of the stressful lives we lead.
Forests provide us with a peaceful mind where we are satisfied with the present moment and the time we inhabit, where all our distress and regrets regarding the past activities are sidelined and where we can keep aside our worrying thoughts for the future. It is a satisfying state of mind where we feel a very deep connection with nature and the bountiful it has to offer.
According to Richard Louv, the author of Last Child In The Woods, several diseases related to human beings which affect them both mentally and physically such as ADHD, obesity, depression and anxiety are a result of this lost connection with the beauty and serenity of nature.
Some recent studies also support Mr. Louv’ s claim and have shown that ‘horticulture therapy’ helps to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in children and also provides a positive impact on people who suffer from depression and anxiety. A connection with the forests and exercising reduces stress hormones and cortisol.
Louv also says that we should take part in the activities amidst the forests and greenery. We must plant trees in our local environment and witness their growth which in turn will help to reduce global warming. The active part taken by the citizens in creating awareness about global warming and the need to plant trees will also let the government to come up with measures for a sustained life.
In mythology, there was a wood cutter named Erisichthon who once cut a sacred grove which led to the death of a nymph who called the oak her home. Erisichthon was later punished by Demeter for his act. He was cursed by Demeter with a miserable life and an unquenchable hunger for the rest of his life. To his misery the villain sold his daughter for food and later he took his own life in an attempt to devour his own body. With this mythological story Schroeder puts forth the fact that we ourselves counter our own spirituality.
There are some serious effects that result when we miss any kind of relationship with the forests. We as human beings are complex and there is always a need to satisfy or mental, physical and spiritual health. And this can only be done when we let ourselves free into the wild or when we picturize the natural beauty when we are exercising as it has immense benefits both psychologically and physiologically.
So dedicate your live to forging a beneficial association with forests or any kind of green space available near you and you can witness the transformations yourself.