12, October 2021
Forest Bathing, What’s That All About?
In recent years, research has backed-up what we already suspected - that hugging trees is actually good for our health. The term ‘shinrin-yoku’, literally meaning ‘forest bath’, first popped up in Japan in the 80s, and describes the therapeutic practise of immersing yourself in nature. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bathtub) optional.
In our modern, tech-frazzled existence, taking time to reconnect with nature is the ultimate act of self-care. Even a short stint spent in natural surroundings can have a major impact on our mood; dialling down our stress hormones, and turning up our energy levels. Benefits also include reducing blood pressure, and activation of our parasympathetic nervous system. Which translates to: it’s really really relaxing. More than that, trees release nourishing essential oils known as phytoncides, which are proven to strengthen our immune systems. Clever, clever trees.
So, now you know how good it is, how do you actually do it?
- Pick a natural space of your choice. Although they’re lovely, this doesn’t need to be an actual forest. Your local park or nature trail work just fine.
- Ditch the phone. Or at least, turn it off for a bit. The whole point is to be more present and take a break from technology.
- Walk slowly. Walk aimlessly. Go where your instincts take you.
- Inhale deeply, fill your lungs with all that good tree stuff.
- Look around you and take notice of the little things.
- Close your eyes and experience the soundtrack of nature.