Forest Bathing: Get in touch with nature and yourself
Become a Forest Bathing Pro
What is Forest Bathing?
Forest bathing is a great way for you to get in touch with nature, and yourself. Studied in depth by Japanese scientists, forest bathing has been proven to lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure. You don’t have to find a specific forest by any means, just the one that fits your needs.
If you’re looking for ways to better your mental health, forest bathing is a wonderful solution. Just as you would sunbathe at the beach, you can soak up the aroma and senses that fill the forest. You don’t have to prepare for a major hike, unless that’s what you prefer to do. Forest bathing is a practice of nature therapy that can be done year round.
Forest bathing is more than going on a long walk, it is the process of becoming one with nature. A practice of mediation, expert Dr. Qi Ling describes forest bathing as opening up your senses to the forest around you. Take in all the sounds, take time to look at the trees around you, touch the earth - bathe in the forest with all of your senses.
There are a number of activities one could do while forest bathing, some of the most popular being yoga and hiking. If you don’t consider yourself incredibly fit, don’t worry, you can simply appreciate the nature surrounding you by soaking in the forest on a walk and letting your anxieties melt away. Keep your mind from straying from the forest and you will leave it refreshed.
How To Prepare for Forest Bathing
A popular practice in Japan, there are 48 designated forest bathing trails for their citizens to bathe in. Unfortunately not all countries are so lucky! When you look, each forest offers different smells, sights and trees that will appeal to different people. Not everyone will want to bathe in the same forest! First consider what type of scenery appeals to you, do you like the smell of moss or prefer a running creek? Define your perfect type of location that will inspire happiness in you.
Now that you have any idea of what kind of forest will fit you best, take a look at the national forests and nature trails that are nearby. If you don’t have an accessible forest, consider a hidden path in a park near you. Though a quiet forest is best for your first time, city parks can be just as relaxing.
Once you’ve found your spot you can prepare to leave the world behind. Dr. Qi Ling gave us a golden rule: leave your electronics. You should bring no distractions while entering nature. Don’t let your mind be disturbed by the thoughts you left in the parking lot, forest bathing is your opportunity to bask in nature to better your mental health. Take deep breaths, and focus on the sights and smells around you.
Lose Yourself in the Trees
Forest bathing is an easy way for you to escape your everyday stresses. Take advantage of the natural stress reliever that surrounds you - the forest! Define what forest is best for you, pick your trail, and leave your worries behind.
Start preparing for your forest bathing trip and take in your much needed nature therapy.
- Scientific Study (pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19568835/)
- Dr. Qi Ling’s Time Article (time.com/5259602/japanese-forest-bathing/)
- Melting Anxieties (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/shift/201409/forest-bathing)
- Bathing Trails Reference (outsideonline.com/1870381/take-two-hours-pine-forest-and-call-me-morning)