The forest isn’t the first place you think of when planning to go bathing, but its all the craze in Japan and has been since the 1980s. In Japan, its called “Shinrin-yoku” which means immersed in nature and it has become a vital healing medicine in Japan.
Many health experts have been claiming that forest bathing is the most important thing you could do for your health. According to national figures, in the UK we are a stressed-out nation, 74% of UK adults are overwhelmed by stress at some point in their lives making it one of the biggest health problems we face today.
There have been many scientific studies that demonstrate the healing effects of simply being in nature that can help us live longer and healthier lives.
So how does something so simple as a walk in the forest give you ultimate health benefits?
It’s proven to:
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Reduce stress
- Improve your mood
- Increased ability to focus,
- Accelerated recovery from illness
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep
It seems the effect of just switching off from your everyday problems and thoughts to spend some time in nature has a positive healing effect physically and mentally. We live in such an unnatural environment, constantly connected to our phones which distracts us from what is important in life. Just listening to the sounds of the forest is the best meditation.
I tried it this weekend and went to the forest with my dog, we just walked slowly and peacefully connecting with nature, I noticed the trees, the branches, the simple things became magical, I felt a sense of calm which lasted for days, I am usually affected by high cortisol levels and anxiety and this all disappeared, I could think more clearly and my problems felt so insignificant.
The best methods for forest bathing.
- Turn your phone off, the idea is to escape such intrusions that enter your life
- Even if you are in the company it’s better to be quiet and listen to nature not the sounds of your friends talking even if the conversation is great.
- Don’t use this time to think about your problems which would make this a useless exercise.
- Be mindful, take in the sounds of nature, the birds, the leaves blowing in the wind, smell the earth, feel the ground under your feet.
If you live near a natural park, the countryside, or a forest, make time to try forest bathing and feel the healing power of nature. The more you do it the more benefits you will feel from this free and mindful practice and you will keep wanting to go back for more. Natural healing is definitely the best medicine for me.