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The need to always be happy




´´The safest way not to be unhappy, is by not pretending to be happy´´


Today I want to reflect with you on a topic that may create controversy,  I meet more and more people for whom being happy has become a requirement.

I don't know if you will agree with me, that in recent years a whole market of ̈pro- happy ̈ concepts has emerged. "You have to be happy in your life", talks are offered, books are sold and articles are written about how to achieve happiness in your life. Of course, we are all trying to find the magic formula that leads us to that happiness, because we all want to be happy, right?

To me personally, a state of permanent happiness is an illusion and unrealistic, especially if you understand happiness to be a  state of total and absolute fulfillment in all the moments of your life. Or as defined by the dictionary of the SAR (State of pleasant spiritual and physical satisfaction) "Absence of inconveniences or stumbles". Come on! Mission impossible, at least the second definition, Don't you think?

I believe that all this prolific marketing, taken to the extreme, can end up generating discomfort and frustration, the exact opposite of what you are looking for! Why? Well because it demands that you have to be happy all the time, and that  if you're not happy all the time it's because you do not want to be or because you do not do enough to be happy. Happiness can never be an obligation, or a list of tasks to perform to achieve that status.

On the contrary, happiness and satisfaction is something spontaneous that arises from pleasure at the most unexpected moment.

I do not mean that you can not have a fulfilled life, I believe that we all deserve it and that, if for anything, we are in this life to live with the greatest possible satisfaction and well-being; material, physical, emotional or spiritual. However to obtain that magical idea of happiness as a state of permanent satisfaction and fullness is a huge stretch.


Why can't you be happy in all the moments of your life?

Because like it or not, life is life and in it you will find sad situations, uncertainty, anger, disappointment, stumbling and inconveniences. You have to pass them and especially feel them, because if you do not, then you are not alive. To travel through pain (without staying in it !) makes us wiser, as Zen Buddhism says: "Pain is inevitable, suffering optional".


Pretending to be always be happy whatever the circumstances, in some way mutilates you and makes you more unhappy, since you deny yourself to live and feel other emotions that, although not so pleasant, are inherent in human nature and to life itself.


In fact a study by the American Psychological Association shows that people who experience the emotions they want to experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, show higher rates of happiness. That is, to be happier is not so much about being always happy and fulfilled but being able to experience and allow yourself to feel the emotions that arise in the different circumstances in your life.

So if you are sad because the situation requires it, allow yourself to be sad, if what your partner has done angers you, acknowledge your anger, if you feel uncertain about a change, do not pretend that you are not worried. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and do not deny it. This does not lead you away from happiness, on the contrary, the more consistent and honest you are with yourself the greater degree of satisfaction and well-being you will find, although sometimes at the time it is difficult to believe.

Say adios to sellers of cheap low cost happiness! There are thousands of them, and they assure you a path of roses and an eternal smile ... do not believe them!

Thank you for reflecting with me and a hug from the heart of Camping Boltaña!

.... shinrin yoku....

"Forest Medicine" 



Join me on a walk through the forest, to find your balance and your ancient origins.



Breathe, look and listen to what is around you ...

this is your true home ...

...The power of nature...

 Shinrin  Yoku in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. Shirin Yoku is a guided walk, taking in the sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air and the range of colours and textures the environment offers us.


These things give us a sense of comfort,  ease our stress and worries, helping us to relax and to think more clearly. Being in nature can restore our mood, give us back our energy and vitality. Studies carried out in universities in the US, Japan and Korea have proven the benifits of these medatitive walks.


After  a conscious walk, in silence, harmonizing your senses the effects are: 

-Reduced blood pressure

-Lower cortisol on the tongue (a  stress marker)

-Lower blood glucose

- Stabalised nervous activity

- A fortified immune system

-A change in brain  activity from the cognitive task orientated  area, to parts of the brain related to pleasure, emotion and empathy.


Research on forest medicine:


Since 2004, the Japanese government has invested three million euros in scientific research into the therapeutic effects of forests. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, a reserach group of anthropologist and physiologist from the University of Chiba (near Tokyo) contributed much to this reserach. They measured the concentration of cortisol saliva (a stress biomarker) in individuals exposed to forest environments and found there to be significantly less cortisol present than in those individuals who had stayed in an urban environment.


Using advanced neurobiology techniques it was confirmed that by walking or simply being in a forest the activity of the prefrontal cortex was decreased. This is the part of the brain responsible for cognitive functions such as planning, solving problems and making decisions. Instead, the activity shifts to other parts of the brain related to emotion, pleasure and empathy. "That's why it tastes better in the country," Miyazaki explained to the writer and

journalist Florence Williams.


Immunologist Qing Li, from the Tokyo School of Medicine, has shown that a walk in a forest or in a park significantly increases the concentration of natural killer (NK) cells in the blood, a type of white blood cell that contributes to the fight against infections and cancer. The beneficial effect of the walk in the forest can last up to a week. According to Li, the volatile compounds emitted by the trees are mainly responsible for this beneficial effect on the immune system. These compounds are called "phytoncides", and are used in aromatherapy and holistic medicine.


Shinrin-yoku is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses; sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. 


Enjoy the the colors and shapes of the treetops. Listen to the rustle of the wind in the foliage, the songs of the birds. Smell the aromas ; pick some pine, cypress, laurel, myrtle or other aromatic plant and inhale their essences. Feel the texture of a trunk, or slide your hand over the soft moss that covers a rock. At the end make a tea or infusion of the plants you have gathered and savour their taste.


For Miyasaki humans have evolved in nature, in the forest, so it is where we feel most at ease. Our physiological and psychological functions are the result of a long process of adaptation to natural conditions; It is not surprising, therefore, that modern artificial life produces stress and anxiety.

New technologies and urban life increasingly separate us from the natural environment.

The psychologist and educator Richard Louv has spoken of the "nature deficit disorder"  disrupting the behavior and development of urban children growing up in an artificial environment.


These scientific studies are powerful arguments to re-establish our relationship with nature. The citizens of the 21st century demand information, evidence and more evidence. We have the evidence, we have to conserve the forests and visit them frequently to improve our health. Sharing the evidence of the positive effects of the forest on our health and well-being is an important task. 


But when it comes to submerging ourselves in the forest and practicing Shinrin-yoku, we must turn off the tablet or mobile phone, "deactivate" the frontal lobe and put aside the ego's worries, open the five senses and dedicate ourselves to perceive, enjoy. Take a deep breath and enter into communion with nature. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world.


 Thanks for walking with me and a hug from the heart of Camping Boltaña!



the heart of the trees

A recent scientific study shows that trees actually have pulsations similar to a beating heart.




Is it time to look at the trees with different eyes ?


... heartbeats ...

Trees have always been a source of curiosity. They are at the center of many therapies related to relaxation, well-being and the search for being at one with nature, all due to the energy they radiate.


The study was published on the ´New Scientist´ website. Like humans, trees live to the rhythm of a "heartbeat". So why are we only discovering this today? It would seem that this heartbeat is so slow, that until now, it was almost impossible to detect. This study was conducted by Andras Zlinsky and his team of bioscience experts  at the University of Aarhus in Denmark


According to András Zlinszky “We’ve discovered that most trees have regular periodic changes in shape, synchronized across the whole plant, which imply periodic changes in water pressure´´.

Up until recently scientists had thought that water moved through trees by the process of osmosis, in a sort of continuous matter, but now they’ve discovered that the trunks and branches of the trees are actually contracting and expanding and essentially pumping water up from the roots to the leaves, a bit like our own hearts pumps blood throughout our bodies.


Unlike our bodies and our pulse however, a tree’s is much slower and beats only once every two hours or so and instead of regulating blood pressure it actually regulates the water pressure flowing through the tree.

The team of scientists who worked on this study observed trees in a greenhouse during the night, so that the sun and the wind did not interfere with the movement of the branches and therefore the result.

Source: "Nation share the good news"



Do you recognize the tree in the picture? Can you tell me where it is in the campsite ?

After reading this article, I am sure you will look at trees in a new light.



Thanks for joining me and until next week!

Hugs "from the leafy heart" of Camping Boltaña!


"We have two ears and one language, so we should listen more and talk less" Diógenes

I am sure there are many times you have tried to tell a friend something and they have interrupted you…. "that happened to me when ..." and instead of listening they begin to tell thier own story without allowing you to finish yours. Or maybe you were the person who interrupted...


Normally we do it unconsciously, but this type of interruption signifies a lack of attention,  a lack of active listening, empathy and also love.

True listening is complete attention, empathy and love towards the other. It is pure devotion and pure generosity. AN ACT OF HOSPITALITY!


It is the opposite of hearing without listening. We are more aware of ourselves (and of our mobile!) than we are of what others are telling us. To remain in active silence before the other person is a good way to strengthen true communication.


When you listen, pay attention to what they are telling you and how they are telling you. Listen with your whole body, focus on this space in time. Do not interrupt and surrender to listening. The practice of active listening is very  therapeutic for the peroson being listened to, it allows them to free themsleves. The listener befits too, by learning to stop and just give for a while.

* Meditate on your breathing ... It is a way to stop your mind and be aware of the here and now. You will realize that you are able to stop your mind and concentrate on yourself and others (remember the post "Breathe"). Listen! And you will hear ...


* Keep engery circle between you open ; do not cross your arms, or your legs, do not hide behind a cushion.


*Do not interrupt. If you need to ask any questions related to the topic, wait for the right moment.


* Observe their gestures and facial expressions, put these together with the words they are speaking.


* Once the other person has finished talking, reflect on what they have said and share your impressions with them openly but respectfully.


Thanks for joining me and until next week.

Hugs from the heart of the Boltaña Camping

... look...

"The beauty of things exist in the spirit of those who contemplate them" (David Hume)

How many times do we go through life without realizing what is around us?


We move our gaze from one side to another, sometimes leaving aside the truly important and paying attention to ephemeral and superfluous distractions.


This week I propose we look and observe (from the moment we are  conscious to the present) the small and beautiful  things that surround us and that contribute to our happiness.


Take a deep breath and carefully observe the smile of your child, your partner, your best friend ... connect to that smile with one of your own.  Know that there is nothing greater than the company of a loved one.


Open your eyes  and notice that the plants are already blooming, giving you  their essence, everything that they are. If you have the opportunity to walk through a park, stop and admire the wisdom hidden in each tree ... they give you clean air and connect with your soul. Give thanks.

How many times do we go through life without realizing what is around us?


We move our gaze from one side to another, sometimes leaving aside the truly important and paying attention to ephemeral and superfluous distractions.


This week I propose we look and observe (from the moment we are  conscious to the present) the small and beautiful  things that surround us and that contribute to our happiness.


Take a deep breath and carefully observe the smile of your child, your partner, your best friend ... connect to that smile with one of your own.  Know that there is nothing greater than the company of a loved one.

Open your eyes  and notice that the plants are already blooming, giving you  their essence, everything that they are. If you have the opportunity to walk through a park, stop and admire the wisdom hidden in each tree ... they give you clean air and connect with your soul.

Give thanks.


On your way to work you will see details that normally escape your attention. Today walk a little more slowly and look around. Within each person you cross, in addition to their haste and stress, is a human being like you, who seeks thier own  truth. Look them in the face and give them a small but sincere smile, wish them a good day just by looking at them ... do you dare?


Walk and look, not only  forward, but to the side as well. You will be surprised by what surrounds you ... look, but from within, from the heart! Open yourself to life and appreciate being here! Do not miss a detail of what is around you, because you are part of EVERYTHING.


Thank you for being and I wish you a very happy week!

Warm greetings from the heart of Camping Boltaña.


"The air is your food and your medicine" Aristotle

You leave home in the morning with a thousand things on your mind. During the day you start lots of new tasks and finish almost none of them. While you are working on one thing, you are already thinking about the next.  Your breathing is accelerated and it is difficult for you to concentrate ... does it sound like you?


Stress causes agitatatuion,  strain and wear of our organs . When our brain perceives any situation as a threat, it causes the body to trigger a series of responses: our breathing accelerates, our heart rate increases and our muscles tense ... does it sound like you?


"I do not have time to go to yoga classes or any classes" ... "I do not have time for anything, I have a thousand things to do" ... does it sounds like you?


Its a dangerous circle: Breathing badly creates the feeling of stress, anxiety and physical fatigue, and means our hearts to do extra work to ensure we receive the necessary oxygen. You get stressed and  breathe badly ,  you breathe badly and get stressed.


Find a quiet place at home, in an environment that you like. Close your eyes. Sit with your back straight, your feet on the floor (without crossing your legs) and your hands resting on your thighs. During the exercise, focus your attention on inhaling and exhaling, on the entrance and exit of air:


1. Inhale through the nose for 5 seconds, swelling the abdomen.

2. Exhale through the mouth for 5 seconds, contracting the abdomen.

3. Six inhallations / exhalations per minute should be performed and the excercise continued for 5 minutes. You should practice it at least three times a day. After a short time, you will notice that your stress is reduced considerably.


I works for me! It is a first aid kit for stressful situations. If you practice every day, your breathing will become regulated and send calming signals to your brain. You owe it to yourself and above all you deserve it. BREATHE!


Until next week! Kisses and good wishes from the heart of Camping Boltaña.

Dora Román...stand up and feelDora Román...stand up and feel

Have you stopped to think, have you thought of yourself? ...


Have you stopped to feel, do you know what you are feeling? ...


Welcome to Slowlife: your place for reflection and calm, your home, your window to the world...


Give me your hand and let us walk together along the paths of well-being and balance

Who am I ?

A little bit about me…..

I am the sum of many trips, studies, curiosities, successes and mistakes.


Life offered me the opportunity to leave the big city for a paradise, the Pyrenees, and here I am.


I have been studying massage and well-being for almost thirty years. I have a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, am a guide of  Shinrin Yoku (Japanes forest therapy), a spa manager and a wellness consultant.


Now I have the chance to share my humble but sincere knowledge about welfare and good living with you ...

Camping Boltaña

Ctra. N-260, Km 442


Teléfono. +34 974 50 23 47 Fax. +34 974 50 20 23

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