Ease Anxiety In Nature

August 29, 2012 Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Do you look to nature to ease your anxiety? If not, please try it!

Forest Bathing

Recently it has been all over the internet how Japanese scientists have discovered that the scent of trees, the sound of brooks, and the feel of sunshine have a calming effect. Japanese engage in an activity they call shinrin-yoku, "forest bathing." And we can all do this.

All you have to do is spend some time communing with nature. Talk a walk in the woods, sit on a rock, gaze at a body of water, rest in the garden, and more.

I have not done empirical research in this, but I and many of my clients have been my case studies on the subject. We all attest to the healing abilities of nature, and for that reason also assume that lack of time in nature creates higher levels of anxiety and stress.

Rest your weary soul

So many times anxiety makes us feel separate, different, and isolated. But when we spend time touching trees, looking at light reflected off branches as it comes through the forest canopy, smelling fresh fallen leaves; we feel happy....a connection. This directly counters anxiety. We experience the greatest of the earth and the immenseness of it. It is bigger than us, and it survives. We learn that we are not alone, and we can survive too.

As nature changes and regrowth happens, we understand that death is transient, bad things pass, worries pass. Everything keeps changing and growing.

Please try it today, even if it just touching and staring at a leaf on your house plant, or playing with drops of water on your hands. But preferably, go outside to experience nature. Smell it, feel it, touch it, look at the patterns on it. And breathe. See what happens to your anxiety...

Come back after you try and leave me a comment about how it went!

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
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APA Reference
Lobozzo, J. (2012, August 29). Ease Anxiety In Nature, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Ken Redeker
July, 17 2013 at 9:36 pm

I had been feeling very depressed for a while, and it is the worst when I wake up in the morning. One week ago, I went with my friend to a state park in Wisconsin to film bats at sunset and sunrise. We camped overnight, and I have a single person tent that is mostly mesh, and while I lay in my sleeping bag I looked up at the stars, and peered out into the dark forest. It was so relaxing that when I woke up at sunrise to help film bats I was not depressed. I was not depressed at all the entire day, and even the day after I still had no depression. Nature works faster than my medication.

June, 13 2013 at 10:36 am

Oh, Jody, this post resonates with me on so many levels! As you know, Roxy and I practiced "forest bathing" every day--sometimes three times a day! After the knee injury, this was reduced to nothing. I miss it so much. I've taken to going to the dog park now that I can walk some more but it's not the same. Nevertheless, I can still breathe in the positivity of the trees, flowers, and nature's sounds. Such a great post, my friend! By the way, I've been practicing my beach visualization daily! :)

September, 9 2012 at 10:44 pm

Nature always brings me peace, the sounds of the wind or birds, the smell of the first rain, and the colors.

Dr Musli Ferati
September, 6 2012 at 2:42 pm

Your writing is in accord with wisdom acknowledgement that "the man is outdoors animal". On purpose to support the useful recommendation that mitigate the anxiety as common emotional suffering, I would to augment that we live in confrontation with our biologic evolution. The science of biologic evolution teach us that through thousand years the men lived outdoor and only last two hundred years they changed this genuine lifestyle of living. This and many others unnatural psycho-social deviation of current civilization causes many mental disorders among whose, anxiety is most frequent ones. Thus, it goes without saying, that coming back to nature is preferential choice that should decreases our daily sorrow feelings.

Ten Ways to Live Free From Fear | Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog
September, 5 2012 at 11:33 pm

[...] or something. Anxiety breeds in isolation. Connecting with a family member, a friend, a pet, or even a tree can help you feel less alone and often brings us out of the panic. Have a sense that you are not [...]

September, 3 2012 at 9:20 pm

It's a holy, sacred kind of feeling for me to be in forests, woods, stands of trees especially when some form of water is nearby. I take my dogs for long walks on trails and parks often. I think I may be descended from Druids.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 4 2012 at 5:33 am

We are all descendants from indigenous cultures somewhere, all nature based cultures. I just ordered a fiction book download about druids. i am excited to read it! Thanks for the comment!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jelly Owl
June, 6 2013 at 1:26 pm

I also take my dogs on walks when I'm stressed. Seeing a puppy run around, bark, and play in the woods is the perfect cure for a stressful day!

Seth Mullins
September, 1 2012 at 7:21 am

I've gravitated to this sort of natural therapy all my life, though for a long time I did so intuitively not knowing, perhaps, what my psyche was seeking. Nowadays I'm really fortunate to live with a waterfall behind me and a forest park that begins scarcely two blocks away. I'm sure I'd be reminded how much good this is doing my soul, were I to suddenly plunge myself into a big city environment for a month!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 3 2012 at 8:09 pm

Your place sounds beautiful Seth!

August, 30 2012 at 4:19 pm

Yes Jodi, nature, gardening, even mowing the lawn are calming for me. I like to go to the botanical gardens here and smell the roses. There's one particular scent that takes me back to my back yard as a kid. Then there are those varieties that are refreshing and new. And a rose petal is so soft. So you get the idea ... sense of smell, sense of touch, sense of peace and pure enjoyment.
Also, my son recently showed me how to reseed flowers from the seeds found in the core of a flower. The new plants popped up. It was a sweet moment for us all.
Thanks for your post about nature.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 3 2012 at 8:12 pm

You are very welcome. I love the softness of a rose petal. Our senses really bring us to the present moment in a beautiful way!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2012 at 6:37 pm

I had an anxiety disorder for 20 years. I have always used playing in nature as a coping mechanism! I like how you mention death as a transient state. I am still terrified of death and the unknown aspect of it. Do you have any suggestions for coping with that?
Thank you,

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 8 2012 at 6:48 pm

I guess looking at scientific evidence of near death experiences has helped me. There is so much evidence that our consciousness lives on. It seems hardly unknown after doing this research! I hope this helps!

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