There is something about the endless expanse of these ancient, blue mountains that captures those who visit the Appalachians. It’s the timeless sense of peace, as we overlook a rolling sea of green, that feels reassuring and it’s the majestic peaks and nurturing valleys that make us realize how small we are.
Being in nature feels good. The fresh air, the closeness to the earth and the vastness of nature can ease our stress and anxiety. We have known it for centuries. In fact, the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) has found that simply spending time in a nature can promote general well-being and reduce the risk of stress-related illnesses.
The sights and sounds of the forest, the sunlight filtering through the trees and the crisp, clean air gives us comfort and allows the space we need to think clearly.
Mountain air is also filled with beneficial secondary metabolites called terpenes that are released from the wide variety of plants. Inhaling pine tree terpenes can ease feelings of stress and support the respiratory system, and along with the wide variety of other plants and the compounds they produce, work together to support overall wellness.
Mountain air gives your lungs the chance to breathe in oxygen that is free of gasses and other pollutants, with the fresh air allowing easier breathing for people with asthma and other chronic illnesses.
A trip to the mountains is an escape. An escape not only from the hustle and bustle of city life, but also an escape from our daily struggles. The mountains show that there are bigger things in life.
Simply spending time outdoors can help you disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. You’d be surprised by just how easy it is to rid yourself of the stress of the day when you take a walk through the mountains.