Forest Bathing - Tune Your Senses Into Nature

October 07, 2016

Forest Bathing

When we surround ourselves with Nature, something shifts from within.  A sense of calm washes over us, and things begin to slow down.

It’s undeniable; a dose of green space is good for the health.  Our mind and body steer us out into the woods amongst the trees from time to time looking for a retreat from the daily grind.  There is a certain feeling we receive when we are awakened by the variety of life all around us. 

"Nature itself is the best physician".

Hippocrates

In the 1980’s, the term shinrin-yoku or forest bathing was first introduced by the Forest Agency of the Japanese Government.  Acknowledging the healing properties of being in Nature, they encouraged citizens to recharge their health by visiting the many green spaces and publicly owned forests available.

Since then, forest bathing has become quite popular and well known - shared by cultures around the world.  It’s easy to do; all that is required is a forest, time, and patience.  Simply go out into a forested area and take it all in.  Keep in mind, the more natural the setting the better, as it will offer up more for your senses.

As you walk through the forest, take it slow.  Take the time to feel and sense everything around you.  Allow your heart rate to calm while you connect with your environment.  Be conscious of your surroundings, absorbing the sounds and smells, feeling the Earth beneath your feet.

Forest bathing techniques are similar to those of meditation.  It’s best to practice on your own, and dedicate a part of every day to your practice.  Though it may not always be possible to retreat into a lush forest, there are different ways to introduce more green space into your daily routine.

Here are a few suggestions on how to surround yourself with Nature:

  • Keep plants in your home & workplace;
  • Take walks as often as possible, looking for routes that have a greater number of trees and natural green spaces;
  • Eat lunch outside – preferably in a park or beside a tree;
  • Plant a garden at your home or volunteer at a community garden in your neighbourhood;
  • When planning a vacation, choose a destination that is known for its forest;
  • Map out National and State Parks close to home for day trips and weekend getaways.

Author Jonathan Fields, a One Tree Planted Reforestation Partner shares a little bit about how trees and forests are an important part of living a good life.  Check out his video here & head on over to his website to take his First Chapter Challenge.  If you pre-order his book prior to October 18th, 2016, a tree will be planted in the Good Life Forest ensuring that green spaces continue to grow all around us.

 

 

How do you connect with Nature?  Comment below or get in touch on social media!



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