“Forest bathing is an opportunity for people to take time out, slow down and connect with nature," says Stuart Dainton. "Evidence about its benefits is building,” - The Guardian
Forest bathing has long been a tradition in Japan, where it is called shinrin-yoku. Forest bathing is the simple act of spending time in nature, specifically in a forest, under trees. It is delightfully easy and relaxing. Studies have shown that forest bathingbenefits may include lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. These benefits, if true, lead to improved wellbeing.
How To Forest Bathe
Forest Bathing is easy. It's more about what you aren't doing than what you are!
What you need:
Access to a quiet, natural area, preferably one with trees
Your body and mind
A friend, or you can go alone if you feel comfortable
A place to sit, and/or easy paths to walk
The ability to follow your senses rather than a plan
Phone turned off!
Get Started Forest Bathing is a meditation of the senses. Begin your walk by noticing, listening, and hearing the landscape around you. What do you notice? What are you curious about? Find a place to rest, sitting or standing, and taking in the landscape with deep, calm breaths. Then continue your walk. It's recommended that you spend at least 30 minutes walking, or as long as feels good.
Ideas for Forest Bathing
Try it during your lunch break
Is there a patch of forest near your workplace? Or maybe you work from home and can find one nearby? Try shinrin-yoku in the middle of the day to reset and re-align.
Substitute for afternoon coffee or caffeine
When your energy drops in the afternoon, try taking a break by forest bathing. Getting up from your chair and getting the blood flowing may help re-establish concentration, reduce fatigue, and refresh your spirits. It can even help solve a problem you may be stuck on.
Bring a friend Forest Bathing
You don't have to practice shinrin-yoku alone! Try bringing a friend along. Just be aware of too much conversation, and try to remain silent for the duration. The point of forest bathing is to be present and aware of your surroundings, and how they make you feel.