Ecns wire

Citywalks, hugging trees, walking dogs…young Chinese seek new ways to heal

2023-08-04 Editor : Zhang Dongfang ECNS App Download
A competitor rides in a picturesque village in Huizhou District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, July 21, 2023. (Photo/China News Service)
A competitor rides in a picturesque village in Huizhou District, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, July 21, 2023. (Photo/China News Service)

(ECNS) -- Citywalks, hugging trees, and walking dogs for others, among others are new ways young Chinese are seeking to balance the pressures of life.

A research paper released by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing Forestry University, shows that animals, ideal lifestyles, human interaction, nature, and cultural products that provide comfort are very therapeutic.

According to The Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu), a Chinese social platform, citywalk-related searches on the App increased by more than 30 times year-on-year in the first half of 2023, with relaxation the main reason.

Tian Kuo, a lover of citywalks, said the wonderful route runs from Beijing Fang in Qianmen to the Qiowan subway station, passing Qianmen Street, Changxiang Lane 1, and the Sanlihe area.

Although located in the center Beijing, Sanlihe is quiet. "It is tranquil, with small bridges and running water, as well as coffee shops and bookstores. It is like a paradise in the city,” Tian said.

Cai Xin, an analyst, likes cycling. Last year, Cai completed the annual cycling goal of 6,000 kilometers after work, which helped the young man balance his life and work.

Li Huizhong from Beijing Normal University said citywalks allow people to get close to nature and socialize with others. It enables the young group to access novel experiences while getting rid of their troubles and worries. Moreover, it doesn’t force people to engage in unnecessary interpersonal relationships based on seeking benefits from each other or keeping secrets.

Except for citywalks, hugging trees is becoming more and more popular among young people because they believe that trees can give them energy. Li Li from Shanghai said hugging a tree made her feel at ease. She believes that each tree has a soul, though they  can’t talk.

Studies found that when people see enormous objects in nature including big trees and snowy mountains, they feel their insignificance, said Li Huizhong. “In their eyes, they are negligible in front of things many times larger than humans and their negative emotions will be weakened,” said Li. “Approaching nature will be helpful to heal one’s mind,” Li added.

Zhou Yue, born after 1995, can accurately recall the names of certain giant pandas and their features. Zhou watches videos of pandas every day. “My fatigue disappears as long as I can see the cute animals eat bamboo or climb trees,” he said. He also help his friends walk their dogs on weekends.

People's love for animals, especially furry ones, is based on humans’ profound instinct, which is, seeking safe attachment.

In addition, organizing stuff and doing handy work have also become ways for young people to heal themselves.


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