Doctors’ prescriptions should be for treatments like Shirin-Yoku, a Japanese technique that consists of letting nature pervade our five senses.

Yes, something as simple as walking in a forest can be the best medicine for many of our woes. The thing is, with karoshi on the rise in Japan (death from overworking), more and more people are choosing ‘forest bathing.’

The only thing you have to do is take walks in nature, paying close attention to everything around you: the smell of the plants, the wind rustling the leaves, the colors… and, of course, leave your cell phone at home, as well as the problems of your daily life.

There are already several forests specially prepared for practicing this therapy, and the number is expected to multiply in upcoming years. And with it, an increasing number of people are taking an interest in this technique, including companies that want do team building and take better care of their employees.

Although we think we already know these things, many studies have confirmed the benefits of nature on our body. They say that people who practice this therapy or who frequent forests and other sites in nature are happier and their levels of anxiety drop. This is because of the decrease in our brain’s prefrontal cortex activity, which we use to solve problems and make decisions, in favor of emotional activity related to pleasure, creativity and empathy.

We would all live a lot better if we spent our free time doing something other than watching a screen. Go out, breathe fresh air, enjoy a sunset, take a stroll along the beach… they’re all free and natural ways to care for ourselves.

What are you waiting for?