Forest Bathing: What Is It, How It Works and Why You Want to Do It

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An increasingly popular way to reconnect with the outdoors is called “forest bathing.”

Forest bathing offers an easy way to connect and relish the charm and beauty of our surroundings. It helps reduce stress levels and makes way for happier days overall.

Getting a good and well-deserved break can be incredibly challenging in our busy lives. So many of us are looking for ways to cut back on stress and increase creativity levels, we forget about one very simple solution: get outside and connect with nature!

Read on for more information about how forest bathing can benefit you, along with how to get started.

Get Back to Your Roots – 5 Ways to Use Nature to Stay Grounded
 
 

Why Is Forest Bathing So Popular?

Forest bathing is the ancient Japanese practice of immersing yourself in nature mindfully and with your senses to gain optimum mental and physical health.
 

 
 
This idea was introduced as early as the 1980s in Japan when it became a highly effective tool for overcoming difficult life circumstances or work-related stress.

As a way to center yourself or explore nature with your partner in the present moment, start by considering the power of the five senses.

A good rule of thumb for forest bathing is taking at least twenty minutes daily to listen closely, see vividly, smell deeply and feel texture wholly.

Earthing: How This Practice Connects Your Mind and Body
 
 

The Benefits of Forest Bathing Are Immense, and Include:

 

Physical Wellbeing

The natural benefits of forest bathing are astounding. Spending time in nature makes your heart healthier and reduces stress hormones. The oil secreted from trees, called phytoncides, also helps boost your immune system.

For better results, combine forest bathing with earthing, a practice that includes walking barefoot to connect with nature when possible.
 

Forest bathing helps reduce stress levels and makes way for happier days overall.

 
The ground’s abundant free electrons enable every part of a person’s organs and cells to have an electrical balance with the Earth to achieve overall balance and stability.
 

Mental Wellbeing

A study conducted in the US shows kids can concentrate better when they are surrounded by a forest.

Those who spent three to four days without access to devices exhibited an increase in creative problem-solving skills and improved mental wellbeing after their time away from electronics and with nature.
 

Emotional Wellbeing

Spending time in nature can have a surprising and lasting impact on your emotions. The natural environment is often where people go to find solace and the feeling of connection, where your surroundings can help bring feelings of happiness.
 

Spending time in nature makes your heart healthier and reduces stress hormones.

 
It helps ease emotions and even improve moods. It’s no wonder why many feel more creative when they spend their days walking, hiking or otherwise exploring their local outdoor spaces.
 

 
 

Follow This 6-Step Guide to Try Forest Bathing:

 

1. Slow Down and Take Your Time

Keep in mind you’re not just walking through the woods. You are taking a mindful walk while being fully present in the moment.

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2. Embrace Your Surroundings

Take in everything around you and pay attention to small details while taking a deep breath of fresh air.
 

3. Keep Your Eyes Open

Connect with the soothing colors of the Earth while counting your breaths to stay focused. Also, take this chance to explore what brings you joy while using all of your senses.
 

4. Pause Often

As you walk around in the woods, slow down and take a break when needed. It will help lower your heart rate so when we are done with your journey, you’ll be ready to enjoy time resting under nature’s beauty.
 

5. Sit Quietly and Observe

Sit quietly enough in your chosen spot or follow an animal closely on their own adventure. There is something magical about this process of finding something new about the surroundings.

When you relax and find a spot to sit down in nature, it leads your heart closer to wildlife.
 

6. Spend 2 Hours Forest Bathing

A full forest bathing session takes around two hours. This is a great way to escape the noise of everyday life, while also getting much-needed rejuvenation for your mind and body. Start small and slowly increase it to the recommended time duration.
 
 

Reconnect With Yourself and Nature With Forest Bathing

All of our senses are heightened in the forest. We can see, hear and feel a richer sensory experience than we do when surrounded by buildings. This exposure to nature is an opportunity for self-reflection that has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health.

If you’re looking for time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better place than your local park or trail – make sure it’s not too crowded!

With these tips at hand, take a break from work this weekend with friends, family or go solo, and notice how you feel afterward. Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!

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Tess is an artist, writer, and copy strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health, wellness and travel, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and getting insight on the latest trends.

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