Forest Bathing

Shinrin-yoku: Forest Bathing

As the beautiful weather moves into our area; you may notice a calling to be in nature and research shows that if you answer this calling, your health will benefit immensely. Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ or a practice in which one spends time in nature and takes it in using all of the senses.

bird

With our current lifestyles, now is the time to try forest bathing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend 93% of their time indoors; this is a far cry from the lifestyle carried by our ancestors hundreds of years ago and research is finding that because of this, our health and happiness are being affected negatively.

According to validated research (and here), forest bathing has real health benefits including:

  1. Reduction in pulse rate
  2. Increased vigor
  3. Decreased scores for depression, fatigue, anxiety, and confusion
Sunflowers

What forest bathing looks like in practical terms is being in any form of nature (the forest, the beach, the rolling hills, etc) and truly finding presence in this atmosphere. Follow these steps to really experience forest bathing and soak in the benefits it has to offer:

  1. Pick a spot in nature and plan to spend at least 30 minutes or more exploring this place.
  2. Leave the phone or camera or any other electronic device behind.
  3. Wander aimlessly and slowly. Don’t rush. Look around at the beautiful scenery, take a deep breath, smell the air, hear the sounds.
  4. Soak in the moment and thank yourself for taking the time to bring positive health benefits to your body through forest bathing.


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