It’s Black Friday, but our trees are not on discount
Black Friday? Green Friday? Our approach is simple: Why not simply recharge your batteries in the forest?
Unruly shoppers, hectic crowds, long lines. Is discount shopping really worth all the chaos for that fleeting fix of satisfaction?
Well, if you ask us, the answer is clear: Why not recharge your mind and body in the forest instead?
Once again, it’s that time of year. The 24-hour window of Black Friday discounts is purposely designed to push people into making impulse purchases motivated by fear that they’ll regret missing out on a good deal, or getting caught up among other consumers, thinking that if everyone else is buying it, it must be the right thing to do.
And what’s interesting to note is that the paradox of possessions leads people to assume that the satisfaction they get from buying stuff will last as long as the thing itself. It somehow seems intuitive that getting something we can see, hear, and touch on a permanent basis delivers the best value. But that’s wrong for three main reasons.
First, you’ll get used to the new possession very quickly and it’ll most likely end up collecting dust on the shelf. Second, you’ll start wanting new stuff almost immediately, even though you didn’t need the first item in the first place. And third, new possessions foster comparisons, so you’ll quickly lose your satisfaction when someone you know shows you something better.
In short, you’re buying new things to make yourself happy – and you do succeed – but only for a very short while. You’re actually just buying a short-lived moment of satisfaction, not sustained happiness.
Here’s how to create genuine, long-lasting happiness
Research shows that we’re the sum of our total experiences. For example, buying new electronics won’t change who you are but travelling around the world most certainly will. That’s because these moments of experiences – especially in nature – become a much larger piece of who we are.
The very fact that experiences only last for a short period of time is actually the reason why we value them so much, and why that value tends to increase as time passes. So, while stuff may last longer than experiences, it’s the memories from the experiences that matter the most.
With that in mind, why not make a deliberate choice to go for an experience in the forest on Black Friday! Still not fully convinced yet? Then keep on reading.
Experiencing forests boosts our immune system.
When we breathe in fresh air from the forest, we breathe in something called phytoncides, which are airborne chemicals that plants release to protect themselves from insects.
Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which help the plants fight diseases. But when people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number of white blood cells called natural killer cells or NK. These cells kill tumor and virus-infected cells in our bodies, and Japanese researchers are exploring how exposure to forests (shinrin-yoku) can help prevent certain kinds of cancer.
Spending time around trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves your mood.
Studies show that both exercising in forests and simply sitting looking at trees help reduce blood pressure and the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Even looking at pictures of trees has a similar, albeit less dramatic effect. Because stress inhibits the immune system, the stress-reduction benefits of forests are further enhanced.
Spending time in nature helps you focus.
Spending time in nature allows the cognitive part of our brain to take a break allowing us to focus better and even become more patient. So, what are you waiting for? Go recharge your batteries in nature on Black Friday and remember to send us your green photos! You’re also more than welcome to mention us and use the hashtag #maytheforestbewithyou