Urban life is filled with many distractions: loud noises, busy traffic, and a constant cluttering of billboards and signage. We often don’t realize that the environment we live in adds to our stress. One of the best ways to reset from a stressful experience is to escape to one of the North Shore trails for a mindful meandering through the forest trails.
Studies have shown that walking in nature counteracts the effects of stress and anxiety in ways that cannot be reproduced in the urban environment. In fact, in one study, researchers linked the outdoor activity with a reduction in the negative thinking and rumination that accompanies depression and anxiety.
At the foot of a trail, transition to a more mindful state by tuning in to your senses:
- Do you hear birds chirping or leaves rustling?
- Do you feel a breeze or the heat of the sub?
- Can you spot any wildlife or flowers?
- Do you smell the scent of pine or cedar?
We are fortunate to have easy access to nature through the many North Shore trails and parks. Before setting off, make sure you have appropriate footwear. Wear layers and bring along a bottle of water to keep hydrated. Finally, let someone know where you are going and when you intend to return home for safety purposes.
Here are some North Shore trails to check out:
- Lighthouse Park, Easy, up to 2 hours
- Capilano Pacific Trail, Easy, up to 4 hours
- Whytecliff Park, Easy, up to 1.5 hours
- Lynn Loop, Easy, up to 1.5 hours
- Rice Lake, Easy, up to 1 hour
Where is your favourite place on the North Shore to escape into nature?